Coronavirus in UAE: Dubai churchgoers take precautions.

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Christian expats have been congregating every evening since last week to observe the six-week period of Lent.

Precautionary measures against the Covid-19 outbreak have now reached places of worship in the country. During a Sunday mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Dubai, the priest announced that the Holy Communion will no longer be given on the tongue – as is customary – as a precautionary measure to avoid physical contact. 

Christian expats have been congregating every evening since last week to observe the six-week period of Lent. Some of them avoided taking the Holy Communion altogether.

“I would rather pray and avoid the Holy Communion for now,” said Alwin C., a Filipino expat living in Dubai.

Another Filipina, Ana Maria Delacruz, said many of her friends chose to stay home. 

However, for some deeply spiritual expats, receiving the Holy Communion in hand is a viable alternative. “Due to the coronavirus, we have been advised to avoid crowded places, but it is impossible for us Catholics to avoid going to the church during the Lent season. We don’t mind receiving the Communion by hand and totally understand the risks of receiving it on the tongue.”