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Coronavirus: UAE to expand capacity of mosques to 50 pct starting August 3

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Authorities in the United Arab Emirates will be increasing the capacity of mosques to 50 percent starting from August 3 as the country slowly eases restrictions against the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to officials.

The period between the first call to prayer and the performing of the prayer itself will also be extended to ten minutes between each other, except for the Maghrib sunset prayer which will be limited to 5 minutes apart.

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Officials also announced that the upcoming Eid al-Adha prayers in the country will be prayed at home while the prayer calls will be broadcast via audio-visual means amid the continuing efforts to limit presence at mosques due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, according to officials.

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Dr. Saif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesman for the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, said all worshippers should practice social distancing measures of keeping at least 2 meters apart from one another and follow all other preventive measures. He also announced that the period between the call to prayer and prayers would be extended to ten minutes, except for Maghrib prayer, which will be 5 minutes.

All new regulations regarding the reopening of mosques are effective from August 3.

The United Arab Emirates has detected 236 new cases of the novel coronavirus, one death, and 389 COVID-19 recoveries in the past 24 hours, according to health officials.