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UAE Urges People to Stay Home amid Virus Outbreak, More Recover in Bahrain, Kuwait

UAE Urges People to Stay Home amid Virus Outbreak, More Recover in Bahrain, Kuwait

Monday, 23 March, 2020 - 06:00
The empty beachside boulevard of Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai on March 12, 2020. (AFP)
Asharq Al-Awsat

The United Arab Emirates has called upon the public to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or perform essential jobs as the country combats the new coronavirus outbreak.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority urged citizens, residents and visitors to limit social contacts and avoid crowded places to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

"The public are also urged to use their own family cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle. They are also advised not to visit public places and maintain social distancing protocols during family gatherings as part of the precautionary measures," added the statement carried by the state news agency WAM.

The two authorities also urged everyone not to visit hospitals except for critical or emergency cases and to use face masks.

The UAE law on communicable diseases, which includes fines and jail terms, will be enforced against all violators, added the statement.

Earlier, the UAE decided to suspend all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers for two weeks to curb the spread of the COVID-19. The decision, which is subject to re-assessment, will take effect in 48 hours, reported WAM.

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) said cargo and emergency evacuation flights would be exempt.

The UAE also decided to close all commercial centers, and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetables markets for a renewable period of two weeks. The decision will take effect after 48 hours, and will be subject to review.

The decision excludes pharmacies, and food retail outlets, including cooperative societies, grocery stores and supermarkets, along with fish, meat and vegetables markets dealing with wholesalers.

Under the decision, restaurants will not be allowed to receive customers. Instead, their services will be limited to home deliveries only.

The tally of cases in the Gulf Cooperation Council now stands at more than 1,700. Bahrain reported a second death on Sunday, a citizen evacuated from Iran, taking the GCC’s total deaths to four.

Manama announced Monday that 11 coronavirus patients have recovered. Bahrain has counted 160 cases of the virus.

Kuwait, meanwhile, said its virus patients have risen to 189, with one case registered in the past 24 hours.

The newest patient is a Kuwaiti citizen, who had traveled to the UAE, said the health ministry on Monday.

Five patients are in intensive care units, with three in critical condition, said ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah al-Sanad.

Thirty patients have so far recovered in Kuwait, including three on Sunday, and 702 have completed quarantine.

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