Saturday 04 December 2021 - 12:08:09 pm

Local Press: Effective steps by UAE to combat virus impact

ABU DHABI, 1st April, 2020 (WAM) -- A local paper has said that new decisions by the UAE Cabinet to step up precautionary measures to contain the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are aimed to protecting people’s health and safety and ensuring business continuity at all sectors.

In an editorial on Wednesday, the Gulf Today has said, "The Cabinet approval of the extension of residence permits expiring on 1st March 2020, for a renewable period of three months without any additional fees upon renewal will hugely help as it will spare the residents’ related obligations during the current trying times.

"In another welcome move, the Cabinet has waived the administrative fines associated with infractions relating to the services provided by the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship and approved by the Cabinet. The decision will be valid for a renewable period of three months effective 1st April."

"Members of the public should avoid misinformation and rumours by referring to official sources for information," the English language daily noted, highlighting Dubai's Community Development Authority, CDA, refuting false rumours circulating on social media about "exceptional measures and controls" on phone calls and social media platforms like WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook.

"The community should not pay heed to rumours and fake news and rely only on information verified to have been issued by official sources," the paper added. "As the CDA officials point out, the image of the logo of a government entity does not make a piece of information valid or official."

"Reiterating that the information attributed to it was completely false, the Community Development Authority has made it clear that the telecommunications sector is not part of its responsibilities and is managed by other departments. The Authority has correctly stressed that spreading false and misleading information, rumours and fake news is a crime under UAE Law. Such malicious acts threaten the safety and stability of the community.

"The Department of Health-Abu Dhabi has also dismissed as "untrue" reports circulating on the number of people infected with COVID-19 in the UAE. The department has made it clear that these reports contradict the announcements made by the official authorities," it continued.

The paper quoted UAE Attorney-General Dr. Hamad Saif Al Shamsi as saying, "Spreading rumours about the virus on social media - deliberately or out of ignorance - cause panic and chaos in society, and those who’re doing this will face legal consequences."

It went on to note that "UAE health authorities have heeded global calls to mobilise action plans, coordinating with various authorities within the country, and ensuring cross-governmental involvement to control the pandemic. There is no need for anxiety among residents regarding the availability of hygiene essentials."

"Members of the general public have a definite role to play and should adhere to preventative health and personal hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic. As suggested by officials, basic protective measures should be followed such as the frequent washing of hands; when coughing and sneezing to cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue and discarding of the tissue immediately; and seeking early medical care if symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing arise.

"Since the onset of COVID-19, the UAE has been keen to ensure full solidarity and cooperation with all other countries addressing the impact of the virus outbreak.

"What increases the importance of international cooperation in confronting this virus is that its negative effects do not stop at only the health aspect, although it is the most dangerous and most painful, but extends to many other aspects as well, the most important of which is the economic aspect," the Sharjah-based daily concluded.

WAM/Nour Salman