Following the official directives of the UAE government yesterday for all residents, citizens, visitors and anyone living in the country to stay home in order to contain the spread of coronavirus, HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, has issued a powerful message to members of the public.

Addressing his four million Twitter followers, His Highness told everyone to “urgently recognise the serious of the new reality we live in”.

He noted how the global COVID-19 pandemic was worsening “at an exponential pace”, but recognises the “tireless efforts” of the medical and health teams has helped protect communities in Dubai.

“Everyday, we see the global situation around COVID-19 worsening at an exponential pace,” he began. “However, thanks to the tireless and incredible efforts of our emergency response team, we have managed to protect ourselves and our communities till date.‬

“Going forth, maintaining this status needs us all to urgently recognise the seriousness of the new reality we live in. We (Dubai) are not immune.”

Sheikh Hamdan went on to highlight how the virus was a “very real threat” to everyone.

“‪This pandemic is a very real threat to each and every one of us, our families and friends,” he said. “The only way to guarantee that we safeguard the wellbeing of our loved ones is to ACT now, TOGETHER and WITHOUT exceptions. Stay Home.‬”

At this point, Sheikh Hamdan said, social distancing is not a “choice”, but a “critical demand”.

“Social Distancing is NOT a matter of choice. it is a critical DEMAND from every one of us, in order for our city and our society to remain safe,” he said.

“Remember that we are only as strong as our weakest link. We’re here for you, and trust that we can count on your commitment to act responsibly.”

His Highness ended his powerful message using the hashtag ‘#StayHome’, which has become popular on social media as many people around the globe are now practising social distancing, self-isolation and self-quarantine.

UAE government’s stay home plea

The UAE government is urging everyone not to leave their homes, unless it’s “absolutely necessary” to get essential supplies like food and medicine, or if you are person in an essential job.

On Sunday night, a joint statement was issued by the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority telling all the UAE public to follow the guidelines that have been issued: limit social interactions and avoid going to crowded places.

The public has also been told not to visit hospitals unless cases are emergent or critical. If visiting, the use of face masks is urged.

Currently there are over 370,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide – around 250,000 are active cases, around 100,000 have recovered.

In the UAE, there have been 198 confirmed cases, 155 which are currently active, 41 have recovered and two have been fatal.

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