Coronavirus Pandemic

Covid-19: Follow health rules in UAE or tougher measures will be rolled out

Marie Nammour /Abu Dhabi Filed on August 22, 2020 | Last updated on August 22, 2020 at 05.59 pm
uae, covid-19, coronavirus, fines, dubai, abu dhabi, warning, expats

(KT file photo)

Officials urged the public to follow outlined safety measures to win the fight against Covid.

New penalties and violations may be introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19, a senior UAE official has warned.

The announcement came as the UAE witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases in the past five days mainly because of non-compliance of precautionary measures outlined by the country, said authorities.

Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief prosecutor of the Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee at the Public Prosecution, on Friday said that introduction of new violations would depend on the circumstances and how urgently they are needed.

Speaking at a live broadcast of the UAE government's 'Commit to Win' campaign, Al Zaabi said new violations will be introduced in coordination with the competent authorities. "We are ready, however, to face any developments."

Earlier in the day in another live broadcast, Dr Omar Al Hammadi, official spokesperson for the UAE Government, urged the public to cooperate and stick to the Covid-19 precautionary measures outlined by the UAE government.

Dr Al Hammadi said people must abide by basic precautions including social distancing, disinfection and wearing of face masks in public. "These steps have all proven efficient in stopping the spread of Covid-19 and we have indeed witnessed their efficiency."

Dr Al Hammadi added: "If we want to show appreciation for the efforts of the frontline medical workers, respect for the victims and the patients, we all have to stick to the preventive measures to flatten the curve until a vaccine and a medication are available."

He pointed out that the achievements accomplished so far have been tough. "We hope to retain those achievements. We have all to comply with the safety rules, if we want the wheel of economy to keep going, our children to go back to schools, if we want to travel again and if we want the leisure centres to stay open."

On Thursday, Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), had warned that the National Sterilisation Programme could return if the number of cases kept increasing.

"It is possible to reinstate the national sterilisation programme in some areas if there are high numbers of Covid-19 cases," he said.

The UAE had completed its national sterilisation programme on June 24 and lifted all restriction on movement. The countrywide programme, which was launched on March 26 to fight the coronavirus, saw a complete sterilisation of all facilities in the UAE including public transportation, streets and other public areas.


Marie Nammour

Originally from Lebanon, Marie has been covering the Dubai Courts and the Public Prosecution, immigration and labour issues often, Lebanese community-related affairs and the Dubai International Film Festival. A graduate from the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik, Jounieh, a city to the north of Beirut, Marie worked as an in-house reporter, covering international affairs for the LBCI and the LBC Sat (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation International), a leading TV station back home and a legal translator for Sagesse, a renowned law college in the heart of the Lebanese capital. Marie speaks fluently Arabic, French, English and Spanish. She is fond of travelling, psychology, learning more and of the French literature.

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