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Dubai: The UAE government has called upon the public to stay at home unless it's absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or perform jobs.

In a joint statement tonight, the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority urged UAE citizens, residents, visitors and all those living in the nation, to comply with the instructions and guidelines issued by competent health and security authorities, primarily limiting social contacts and avoiding 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 taken to ensure public health and safety," added the statement.

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

"Additional instructions will be issued later involving the use of public transport, taxis and other means of transportation," said the statement.

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

On its social networking sites, Sharjah Police said: “In order to preserve the health and safety of the community, Sharjah Police urges the public not to socialize, avoid public places, to follow instructions, and to stay at home.”


The UAE has decided to close all commercial centres, and shopping malls for a renewable period of two weeks. However, hypermarkets and pharmacies in the malls will remain open.

In a statement early Monday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management said the decision, which excludes dealing with wholesalers, will come into force in 48 hours, will be subject to re-assessment.

Grocery stores and those selling fish and vegetables and pharmacies are excluded, subject to review and evaluation.

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


COVID-19 is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus. Symptoms include fever, coughing, sore throat and shortness of breath. The virus can spread from person to person, but good hygiene can prevent infection. Find out who is at risk and what you should do if you think you have COVID-19.

What is COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory infections. These can range from the common cold to more serious diseases.

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus. It was first reported in December 2019 in Wuhan City in China.


Symptoms of COVID-19 can range from mild illness to pneumonia. Some people will recover easily, and others may get very sick very quickly.

People with coronavirus may experience:

  • fever
  • flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue
  • shortness of breath

  • If you are concerned you may have COVID-19, use the symptom checker on healthdirect.

    How to seek medical attention

    If you are sick and think you have symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical attention. If you want to talk to someone about your symptoms first, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice.

    To seek medical help from a doctor or hospital, call ahead of time to book an appointment.

    You will be asked to take precautions when you attend for treatment. Follow the instructions you are given.

    If you have a mask, wear it to protect others. Stay at least 1.5 metres away from other people. Cover your coughs or sneezes with your elbow.

    Tell the doctor about:

  • your symptoms
  • any travel history
  • any recent contact with someone who has COVID-19

  • Testing

    Your doctor will tell you if you should be tested. They will arrange for the test.

    You will only be tested if your doctor decides you meet the criteria:

    You have returned from overseas in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever You have been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case in the past 14 days and you develop respiratory illness with or without fever You have severe community-acquired pneumonia and there is no clear cause You are a healthcare worker who works directly with patients and you have a respiratory illness and a fever

    After testing

    It may take a few days for the test results to come back.

    If you have serious symptoms you will be kept in hospital and isolated from other patients to prevent the virus spreading.

    If your doctor says you are well enough to go home while you wait for your test results, you should:

    self-isolate at home and do not attend work or school
    protect yourself and others
    For questions about testing or patient welfare, call the Coronavirus Health Information Line.


    There is no treatment for COVID-19, but medical care can treat most of the symptoms.

    Antibiotics do not work on viruses.

    Self-isolation (self-quarantine)
    You must self-isolate if any of the following applies to you:
    you have COVID-19
    you have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19
    you arrived in Australia after midnight on 15 March 2020

    If you do not need to self-isolate, you should still protect yourself and others.

    How to self-isolate
    Self-isolation lasts for 14 days

    You must stay at home to prevent the possible spread of the virus to other people.

    See specific advice for self-isolation when:

    you are sick
    you are not sick

    Staying home means you:

  • do not go to public places such as work, school, shopping centres, childcare or university
  • ask someone to get food and other necessities for you and leave them at your front door
  • do not let visitors in — only people who usually live with you should be in your home
  • do not need to wear a mask in your home, but do wear one if you have to go out (for example to seek medical attention)
  • should stay in touch by phone and online with your family and friends

  • For students and children, you should notify the relevant school or childcare centre. Students may want to seek alternate arrangements for remote learning.



    Friday prayers, too, have been suspended.

    Congregational prayers, including those offered on Friday, have been suspended across all mosques in the UAE for a period of four weeks. The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowments (GAIAE) said late on Monday that the decision was taken to avoid the spread of Covid-19 and protect public health.

    The decision applies to all places of worship like temples and churches.

    The decision was based on the directives issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) and Ministry of Health and Prevention. It was guided by a fatwa issued by the UAE Fatwa Council.

    "At mosques, only the Azan (call for prayer) will be given out to alert worshippers about prayer times. Mosque doors will remain closed," the GAIAE said. "The words 'pray at home' will be repeated twice at the end of the Azan."

    The call that signals the start of a prayer won't be made. Ablution halls at mosques will also be closed. "The situation on the current Covid-19 pandemic will be reassessed after four weeks."

    The GAIAE appealed to all mosque-goers and worshippers to comply with the directive and offer their five daily prayers at home.

    The UAE Fatwa Council had previously urged Muslims suffering from respiratory or immunity issues to avoid congregational prayers. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque was closed to visitors from Sunday. Authorities in Sharjah had earlier suspended the gathering of worshippers at churches, including services, prayers and other activities.



    When to use a mask

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

  • How to put on, use, take off and dispose of a mask

  • Before putting on a mask, clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Cover mouth and nose with mask and make sure there are no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Avoid touching the mask while using it; if you do, clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Replace the mask with a new one as soon as it is damp and do not re-use single-use masks.
  • To remove the mask: remove it from behind (do not touch the front of mask); discard immediately in a closed bin; clean hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.



    Frequent inspections will be conducted to ensure the compliance.

    Customers and employees with flu symptoms will not be allowed into Dubai restaurants, as per a new set of guidelines issued by Dubai Municipality to curb the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

    According to an obligatory notice to all restaurants issued by the Health and Safety Department of the Dubai Municipality, all food establishments in Dubai must comply with the instructions starting March 16, until further notice.

    The Municipality said regular and frequent inspections will be conducted to ensure the compliance.

    Here are the instructions:

    . Food establishments should not sell more than 50 meals per order Customers are not allowed to be in the waiting area to limit the number of people inside the food premises.

    . There must eating tables should be spaced to insure two meters at least in between.

    . Increase takeaway and home delivery orders (with adequate food safety precautions)

    . Use disposable cups and eating utensils for serving food and beverages

    . In facilities that have automated dishwashing facilities that meet the disinfection temperature requirements, regular plates and cutlery can be used

    . Clean and disinfect of used tables after customer departure immediately.

    . Do not allow entry of any customers or employees with flu symptoms

    . Open buffet must be closed permanently


    Four of them are from the UAE, three from Italy, two each from Bangladesh and Nepal, and one each from Russia, India and Syria.

    The UAE has recorded 14 new Covid-19 coronavirus cases, the Ministry of Health and Prevention said on Monday, bringing the total number of reported cases to 59. The ministry also said five patients have recovered.

    In a statement, the health ministry said the cases involve four Emiratis, three Italians, two Bangladeshis, two Nepalese, a Russian, an Indian and a Syrian national.

    Additionally, two Emiratis, two Ethiopians and one Thai national are among the patients who have recovered, bringing the total number of recovered cases to 12.

    Three-year-old boy tests positive for covid-19 in India

    It added that the latest cases were discovered following an active and continuous investigation and the testing of those who came in contact with previously confirmed infected individuals who were quarantined.

    The ministry affirmed that since the emergence of the epidemic in China, UAE authorities have spared no effort in monitoring the spread of the virus in the country and handling it according to the highest medical standards.

    Four more cases of coronavirus confirmed in Saudi Arabia

    It added that several precautionary measures have been put in place, including the installation of detection thermal imaging systems and health checks at the country's border entry points, and isolating confirmed and suspected cases.

    The ministry urged members of the public to adhere to preventative health measures and to refer to the tips offered on its website to prevent the spread of the disease.

    Spreading rumours about coronavirus in UAE could get you jailed

    "The ministry and local health authorities recommend members of the community to adopt healthy habits that help protect individuals from infectious diseases, including washing hands well with soap and water, and covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs and viruses," the statement said.

    People with respiratory symptoms were also advised to avoid mixing in crowded places, while members of the public were told to avoid misinformation and rumours by referring to official sources for information.



    1. Background and scope of guidance

    The advice in this document can be applied to any non-healthcare setting such as workplaces, offices, waiting rooms, hotel rooms, student accommodation and boarding schools where a possible or confirmed COVID-19 case has spent time while symptomatic. For the purposes of this guidance, a possible case of COVID-19 is someone undergoing testing but COVID-19 has not yet been excluded, and a confirmed case is someone known to have a positive laboratory test for COVID-19.

    The guidance describes the cleaning required, the appropriate disposal of materials, the disinfection of equipment and hard surfaces, and the personal protective equipment (PPE) that should be worn. There is separate published guidance for healthcare settings and for those in self isolation at home.

    Previous experience of new coronaviruses (SARS-CoV & MERS-CoV) has been used to inform this guidance. The risk of infection transmission depends on numerous factors, including the type of surfaces contaminated, the amount of virus shed from the individual, the time the individual spent in the setting and the time since the individual was last in the setting.

    The infection risk from environmental contamination will decrease over time, but it is still unclear at what point there is no risk of transmission from the environment; however, studies of SARS and MERS suggest that, in most circumstances, the risk is likely to be reduced significantly after 72 hours.

    2. Information about the virus

    A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is caused by a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019.

    The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they are unlikely to develop symptoms.

    3. Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19

    The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:

  • cough
  • difficulty in breathing
  • fever

  • Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

    4. How COVID-19 is spread

    From what we know about other coronaviruses, transmission of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with a symptomatic individual. It is likely that the risk of transmission increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

    Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.

    There are two main routes by which COVID-19 can be transmitted:

  • infection can be spread to people through close contact (within 2 metres) with infected individuals and respiratory droplets generated during coughing and sneezing
  • it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)

  • There is currently no evidence that people who are without any symptoms are infectious to others. This evidence will be kept under constant review.

    5. How long the virus can survive

    How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors, for example:

  • the surface the virus is on
  • whether it is exposed to sunlight
  • environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity
  • exposure to cleaning products

  • Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours.

    We know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands. Therefore, regular hand hygiene and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces will help to reduce the risk of infection.

    6. Principles of environmental decontamination after the case has left the setting or area

    6.1 Personal protective equipment (PPE)

    The minimum PPE required to be worn for decontaminating an area where a possible or confirmed case has been includes disposable gloves and apron. Hands should be washed with soap and water after all PPE has been removed.

    If a risk assessment of the setting indicates that a higher level of contamination may be present (for example where unwell individuals have slept such as a hotel room or boarding school dormitory) or there is visible contamination with body fluids, then the need for additional PPE such as a surgical facemask and full-face visor should be considered. The local Health Protection Team can advise on this.

    Most other settings where the person has spent shorter periods of time (such as a waiting room, cinema, restaurants, gyms) are likely to have lower levels of contamination and therefore the risk of onward transmission of infection will be lower.

    6.2 Cleaning and disinfection

    Public areas where a symptomatic individual has passed through and spent minimal time in (such as corridors) but which are not visibly contaminated with body fluids can be cleaned as directed by any existing workplace risk assessment or manufacturer’s instructions on the safe use of their cleaning products.

    All surfaces that the symptomatic person has come into contact with must be cleaned and disinfected, including:

  • objects which are visibly contaminated with body fluids
  • all potentially contaminated high-contact areas such as bathrooms, door handles, telephones, grab-rails in corridors and stairwells

  • Use disposable cloths or paper roll and disposable mop heads, to clean and disinfect all hard surfaces or floor or chairs or door handles and sanitary fittings in the room, following one of the two options below:

  • use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 parts per million available chlorine
  • or
  • a household detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.). Follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
  • or
    if an alternative disinfectant is used within the organisation, this should be checked and ensure that it is effective against enveloped viruses

    Avoid creating splashes and spray when cleaning.

    Any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of and should be put into the waste bags as outlined below (see section 6.4)

    When items cannot be cleaned using detergents or laundered, for example upholstered furniture and mattresses, steam cleaning may be used.

    Spillages of blood and body fluids should be managed in accordance with the organisations spillage policy, before cleaning and disinfection. If any items are heavily contaminated with body fluids and cannot be appropriately cleaned, consider discarding. Gain permission to do this from the owner.

    If an area can be kept closed and secure for 72 hours, wait until this time for cleaning, as the amount of virus contamination will have decreased significantly. The area can then be cleaned as directed by any existing workplace risk assessment or manufacturer’s instructions on the safe use of their cleaning products.

    6.3 Laundry

    Items heavily soiled with body fluids should be disposed of. Gain the permission of the owner to do this.

    Remove any clothes, soft or fabric window hangings and curtains, bedding and any other laundry items and place in a bag for transportation to the point of laundering. Do not shake items or avoid all necessary agitation.

    Store the used linen put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known.

    If the individual test result is negative, usual laundering processes can be followed.

    If the individual test result is positive:

  • wash items on the hottest temperature setting the fabric will tolerate
  • gloves and apron should be used when loading laundry into a machine. Laundry bag to disposed of as per waste management guidance outlined below

  • 6.4 Waste

    Waste from possible cases and cleaning of areas where possible cases have been (including disposable cloths, tissues) should be put in a plastic rubbish bag and tied when full. The plastic bag should then be placed in a second bin bag and tied. It should be put in a suitable and secure place and marked for storage until the individual’s test results are known. Waste should NOT be left unsupervised awaiting collection. You should NOT put your waste in communal waste areas until negative test results are known or the waste has been stored for at least 72 hours.

    If the individual test is negative, this can be put in with the normal waste.

    If the individual tests positive, then store it for at least 72 hours and put in with the normal waste.

    If storage for at least 72 hours is not appropriate, arrange for collection as a Category B infectious waste either by your local waste collection authority if they currently collect your waste or otherwise by a specialist clinical waste contractor. They will place your bags in orange infectious healthcare waste bags for appropriate treatment.

    6.5 Follow up of persons involved in environmental decontamination

    The names and contact details of those carrying out cleaning of an area that a possible case has been in should be recorded by the person responsible for this setting. As part of the contact tracing process for a confirmed case, the local Health Protection Team will advise on arrangements for follow up required for 14 days after the cleaning process took place.


    Stay aware of the latest information on the COVID-19 outbreak, available on the WHO website and through your national and local public health authority. COVID-19 is still affecting mostly people in China with some outbreaks in other countries. Most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others.Take care of your health and protect others by doing the following:

    Wash your hands frequently

    Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

    Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.

    Maintain social distancing

    Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

    Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

    Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

    Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.

    Practice respiratory hygiene

    Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.

    Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.

    If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care early

    Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority.

    Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections.

    Stay informed and follow advice given by your healthcare provider

    Stay informed on the latest developments about COVID-19. Follow advice given by your healthcare provider, your national and local public health authority or your employer on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.

    Why? National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in your area. They are best placed to advise on what people in your area should be doing to protect themselves.

    Protection measures for persons who are in or have recently visited (past 14 days) areas where COVID-19 is spreading

  • Follow the guidance outlined above.
  • Stay at home if you begin to feel unwell, even with mild symptoms such as headache and slight runny nose, until you recover. Why? Avoiding contact with others and visits to medical facilities will allow these facilities to operate more effectively and help protect you and others from possible COVID-19 and other viruses.
  • If you develop fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical advice promptly as this may be due to a respiratory infection or other serious condition. Call in advance and tell your provider of any recent travel or contact with travelers. Why? Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also help to prevent possible spread of COVID-19 and other viruses.


  • Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has announced that it has halted all flights between the emirate and Saudi Arabia in response to a directive from the Kingdom's General Authority for Civil Aviation to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus.

    The airline operates up to 12 flights per day between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, said a press release issued by Etihad on Monday, noting that it has cancelled a total of seven flights today between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Madinah, and is now advising passengers who were booked to travel today.

    Another four flights which were en-route to Saudi Arabia at the time of the directive were permitted to land. When flights arrived in Riyadh, Jeddah and Dammam, nationals of Saudi Arabia were permitted to disembark but all other passengers remained on the aircraft, which will return to Abu Dhabi. The fourth flight operated to Madinah to repatriate Umrah passengers.

    Etihad is working closely with regulatory authorities in the UAE and Saudi Arabia and is continuing to monitor this situation closely.

    For passengers impacted by the flight cancellations, procedures are in place for fare refunds or for flight changes when services resume. Etihad will continue to provide updates on the situation as information becomes available.

    In addition to the flight suspensions to and from the UAE, Saudi Arabia has also banned Saudi nationals and Saudi residents from travelling to countries including the UAE and on passengers travelling from or transiting through Bahrain, Kuwait, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, Egypt and Korea.


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