- Cultural sites temporarily closed include Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Culture Foundation, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort and Qasr Al Muwaiji.
- The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced the full recuperation of three additional individuals, bringing the total number coronavirus recuperations in the country to 23 from the 86 cases.
DUBAI: The UAE has stepped up to the plate and joined several other countries in implementing measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
Flights to and from at least four countries have been suspended as efforts to address the coronavirus scare gain momentum with three more recuperations which yesterday, Saturday March 14, brought the total to 23.
Also, following a lull of two days in new cases, the government confirmed one infection yesterday.
Issuance of all visas to foreigners, except those holding diplomatic passports, has likewise been indefinitely suspended.
Meantime, the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) has directed entertainment destinations in the emirate to temporarily suspend operations as part of precautionary measures taken nationwide to curb the proliferation of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.
This came in two separate circulars, addressed to owners of entertainment halls, including movie theatres as well as videogame centers and lounges; and the second, to movie theatres in the UAE capital.
Rashid Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, ADDED Undersecretary, said the decision to temporarily close these destinations is aimed to help people steer clear of crowded places.
“Those who will not abide by the decision will be punishable under Article 72 of ADDED’s Table of Fines which specifies a pecuniary penalty in the range of AED 3,000-AED10,00 and ultimately closing the facility in case of a repeat infraction,” the Emirates News Agency (ENA) quoted Al Balooshi as saying.
The Department of Culture and Tourism — Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has for its part, decided to temporarily close cultural sites in the emirate, from Sunday, March 15 to March 31, 2020.
Closed cultural sites include Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Culture Foundation, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort and Qasr Al Muwaiji, according to ENA.
In Dubai, The Dubai Media Office (DMO) tweeted that the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) “has directed that all events shall be suspended from March 15 to 31.”
“DTCM also directs all entertainment destinations to suspend operations and all hospitality establishments and wedding halls to suspend wedding gatherings from March 15, 2020 till the end of the month,” DMO said.
It added: “Inspections will be carried out to verify compliance with this circular.”
Meantime, The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced the suspension of all inbound and outbound flights with Lebanon, Turkey, Syria and Iraq, with effect from March 17, and until further notice.
The move is part of the country’s proactive precautionary and preventive health measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, COVID-19, said the GCAA in a statement Saturday, March 14.
”The decision followed our analysis and assessment of the latest global situation and the scale of the spread of the virus to most countries of the world including Italy, ” the statement added.
The statement further added that stakeholders operating under the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, are monitoring the latest global developments in order to take appropriate actions that ensure continuity of work inside the country and to mitigate potential risks.
The GCAA advised passengers affected by the suspension of flights to contact their respective air carriers to reschedule their flights and ensure their safe return to their final destinations.
Regarding the COVID-19 count, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has announced the full recovery of three additional individuals, bringing the total number coronavirus recuperations in the country to 23.
The MoHAP said in a statement release March 14 that the recuperated individuals – two Emiratis and an Indian – were now “symptom-free” after receiving the necessary healthcare in hospital.
The MoHAP also said in a separate statement issued on the same day that an Indian national has tested positive for COVID-19 upon returning to the UAE after spending his annual leave abroad. This brought the total number of infections at 86.
“All those who were in contact with the patient have been examined and have all tested negative for the virus” said MoHaP in a statement where it re-affirmed that all precautionary measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 are being taken in collaboration with competent bodies in the country and in line with the standards and guidelines set by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Schools across UAE have been out since March 8, with students provided distance learning.