The United Arab Emirates has intensified its efforts aimed at combating the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), shutting down public spaces, urging residents to stay home as well as a number of other procedures.
The UAE has confirmed 468 cases, with 63 recoveries so far.
The UAE 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 essential jobs.
The UAE has also decided to close all commercial centers, and shopping malls for a renewable period of two weeks. However, hypermarkets and pharmacies in the malls will remain open.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management has 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.
Moreover, the UAE suspended all work visa issuance and visas-on-arrival and imposed a mandatory 14-day quarantine on anyone entering the country.
“The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratization has suspended the issuance of all types of labor permits, including for drivers and domestic workers, effective Thursday, March 19th until further notice,” state news agency WAM reported.
The UAE government has also implemented a ban on its citizens traveling overseas.
The measures, which are meant to be temporary but go into effect immediately, are “in the interest of the state for the health and safety of its citizens in light of the rapid spread of the virus around the world,” the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said in a statement.
The United Arab Emirates also imposed overnight curfews in a bid to tackle the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities announced that the UAE will restrict movement of traffic and people overnight. The restrictions last from 8pm to 6am each night.