Big announcements

As coronavirus continues to spread worldwide, major shutdowns are taking place in Dubai.

On Saturday evening, it was announced via the official Dubai Media Office Twitter account “all events in Dubai should be suspended from Sunday 15 March 2020 [until] the end of the month”. 

It was stated this decision has been made in line “with ongoing efforts to safeguard public health”.
The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing has also directed all entertainment destinations, hospitality establishments and wedding halls to “suspend” operations from 15 March until the end of the month.

Operations at Dubai theme parks including Legoland Dubai and Motiongate Dubai have also been suspended until the end of March “or at such time the situation will be re-evaluated”.

Gulf News has also reported all Dubai nightclubs are set to be shut down until the end of March.

Similar shutdowns have taken place in Abu Dhabi. All main tourist attractions in the UAE’s capital will be closed for the next two weeks.

UAE entrance visas suspended from March 17

In addition to shutdowns in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE made the decision on Saturday to suspend the issuing of entry visas, effective as of March 17.

However, the decision put in place amidst the COVID-19 outbreak doe not affect those who had their visas confirmed before the effective date.

In a statement issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship, the organisation said the decision has been made as a precautionary measure in order to contain the spread of coronavirus. This comes after the World Health Organisation announced the spread of the outbreak was now considered a pandemic.

“The ICA affirms that the decision stems from the UAE’s deep sense of responsibility and diligent efforts in collaboration with other countries of the world to fight the coronavirus pandemic and survive this ongoing crisis,” the statement added.

Coronavirus labelled as a ‘pandemic’

On Wednesday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) determined the coronavirus outbreak to be a worldwide “pandemic”.

“WHO has been assessing this outbreak around the clock and we are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” the WHO director-general said.

Khalid Al Ameri coronavirus uae

“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic.

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly. It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”

According to a report from WHO, as of March 13 globally there have been 132,700 confirmed as 132 758 confirmed cases, over 80,000 of which are in China, and nearly 5000 deaths, 3200 of which are in China.

On Thursday March 12, it was announced my the Ministry of Health and Prevention there were 11 new cases of coronavirus in the UAE, bringing the total to 85. However, so far, there have been 17 confirmed recoveries, making the current number of active cases 68.

Take a look at some tips on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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Images: Instagram