Drastic measures being taken

As coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, it has been announced all “main tourist attractions” in Abu Dhabi will be closed for the next two weeks.

An announcement was made on Saturday afternoon via the official Abu Dhabi Government Media Office Twitter account, outlining the “precautionary measures” being taken.

“In line with the precautionary measures to ensure the health and safety of visitors, Abu Dhabi’s main tourist attractions, theme parks and cultural destinations will be temporarily closed from March 15-31 to limit large gatherings and protect public health in response to COVID-19,” the statement read.

It has been stated temporary closures of the major tourist sites include the Abu Dhabi Louvre, Qasr Al Watan, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, Qasr Al Hosn, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort, Qasr Al Muwaiji, Ferrari World and more.

“Advisory notices will be updated regularly by visitor destinations across the Emirate — the public is advised to check with each site directly for the latest information,” the statement concluded.

Closure of Abu Dhabi ports

In another statement from the Abu Dhabi Media Office made later on Saturday evening, it was announced cruise operations would also be suspended.

“Abu Dhabi Ports announces that cruise operations are suspended for all ships from local and foreign ports at Abu Dhabi Cruise Terminal in Zayed Port and Sir Bani Yas Cruise Beach until further notice, as part of precautionary measures being taken to protect public health & safety,” the Twitter post read.

It was confirmed that the ports will still “welcome lay-by cruise vessels arriving at Zayed Port with only crew on board, and will deliver provisions and bunkering alongside any other services required, while ensuring their safety”.

This announcement comes after President Donald Trump posted a ban on people entering the US travelling from Europe, with many other countries closing its borders including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Israel in a bid to stop the spread of COVID-19.

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.

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“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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