Covid-19: Don't ignore government advisories, stay at home

A lot of them continue to live normal lives, behave and socialise like there is no tomorrow.

By Sami Al Reyami

Published: Sun 22 Mar 2020, 10:21 PM

Last updated: Mon 23 Mar 2020, 1:21 AM

It was shocking to see posts on social media showing hundreds of people visiting beaches across the country, and ignoring all advisories on social distancing and staying at home. The authorities in the UAE and abroad have been recommending people to stay at home, unless there is an emergency that needs to be attended. These are preventive measures and can protect us from getting infected.

Yet, people have been ignoring such messages. A lot of them continue to live normal lives, behave and socialise like there is no tomorrow. Are they living on a different planet? Don't they realise the seriousness of the situation?

Now the people in most of such photographs don't seem ignoramuses. A lot of them look Europeans and Arabs, and they must be well aware of the pace at which the virus is spreading across the globe. They are aware of the efforts their governments are making to contain the spread. These people are not blue-collared workers, but educated people who have access to information and news.

Such behaviour shows their recklessness and carelessness, nothing more.

People have forgotten their civic duty. The governments are doing their job in sending advisories and taking different measures, the media is doing its part in disseminating information. Yet, it is the irresponsibility of these people that is posing the greatest risks to other people and societies. This is appalling. Such people are well aware of the excellent medical facilities in the country, and could be taking it for granted.

These are tough times globally, and the UAE is making great efforts to ensure all residents are protected from this notorious infection. The cost of combating the virus is extremely high, and the government is doing its work diligently and silently. And on the other hand, some people are unable to understand the importance of staying at home for two weeks.

We must take lessons from Italy, Iran, Spain, and other countries that have witnessed major outbreak.

Italy for instance had three infections in the first week, and now there are over 53,578 infected people. Over 4,800 people have died.

We need more measures that come with serious implementation as recklessness of some people could put others at risk too. They are helping the virus to spread, and we can't stop the virus unless everyone cooperates. They must understand that the virus is not a joke, and every person must protect himself before protecting others.

Sami Al Reyami is the editor-in-chief of Emarat Al Youm

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