UAE Ministry of Health warns against hand shakes and other greetings
UAE Ministry of Health warns against hand shakes and other greetings Image Credit: MoHAP

Dubai: UAE residents have been told to avoid direct contact with others, in particular cheek and nose greetings, shaking hands, kissing and hugging for their safety.

The advisory has been issued by the Ministry of Health and Prevention to help prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus, Covid-19.

The UAE has so far reported 45 confirmed cases and the recovery of five patients. The latest cases of 15 patients were announced in the early hours of Saturday.

Late night on Friday, the health ministry posted a video on Twitter along with the advisory on social distancing.

Cheek and nose greeting is popular among the Emirati community. Along with hugging and handshaking, this traditional method of greeting can also cause the spread of the virus.

The video along the message is captioned “Today and Everyday Advice.”

The ministry posted another message and video advising people against shaking hands while greeting others.

“Healthy behaviour is necessary, avoid shaking hands,” it said.

A woman featured in the video is shown greeting another one by putting her hand over her heart.

In another video promoting healthy behaviour at work places, the ministry highlighted that “it is necessary to use hand sanitizer or wash hands with soap and water after touching the surfaces.”

Advisories on social distancing and healthy behaviours are among the series of steps that the UAE authorities are taking to prevent the spread of novel Coronavirus.

Apart from implementing strict screening methods, the country has imposed travel restrictions to protect the community.

Meanwhile, several other countries have also issued advisories against handshakes and many are promoting greetings by the Islamic way of saying Salam (raising right hand) or the Indian way of saying Namaste (folding both hands).

India’s ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations on Saturday shared a tweet in which he said Namaste, the healthy Indian traditions is gaining new ground at the UN as diplomats strive to keep in tune with the times.

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“As on so many other issues, India & Singapore agree on this too. #coronavirus,” he tweeted along with a photo in which he and his Singapore counterpart Burhan Gafoor are seen greeting each other with Namaste.