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19 Apr 2020 | 08:24 AM UTC

UAE: Authorities announce fines for spreading non-official COVID-19 information April 18 /update 27

UAE authorities announce fines for spreading non-official COVID-19 information from April 18; abide by government directives

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On Saturday, April 18, UAE authorities announced that individuals who share medical information regarding the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that contradicts official statements may face a fine of USD 5500. The measure applies to any individual who publishes, republishes, or circulates medical information or guidance deemed to be false, misleading, or contradictory to official advice.

The Dubai government has extended a 24-hour curfew through Saturday, April 25, in response to the increased spread of COVID-19. Those who leave their homes outside of curfew hours without legitimate or pre-approved reasons will face fines of USD 544. Those violating the curfew could be fined up to USD 13,600.

Under lockdown regulations, members of the public who go out for walks, cycle, or drive for essential reasons such as purchasing food or medicine must apply for a permit at this website. Only one family member will be permitted to go out at any one time during the ongoing sanitation program, and those leaving their homes are to wear masks, gloves, and respect social distancing advice. Those working in vital sectors will be exempted from the restrictions.

Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has announced previously that metro and tram service would be suspended during the lockdown. Free bus transportation and a 50 percent discount on taxi rides will be offered in lieu.

As of Sunday, April 19, there are 6302 confirmed COVID-19 cases within the UAE, including 37 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is to be expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and trouble breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the disease.