Dubai announces new precautionary measures

Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 2 February 2021: Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management yesterday announced a new set of precautionary measures aimed at safeguarding the community from Covid-19, effective 2 February until the end of the month.

Daily reports have shown a marked increase in the number of violations of precautionary measures, the committee added.

The new precautionary measures include:

  • Audience capacity of seated indoor venues, including cinemas as well as entertainment and sports venues to be reduced to 50% of maximum capacity; enhanced precautionary measures will be stringently enforced.
  • Hotel establishments will be required to operate at 70% of total capacity; new bookings should comply with the new capacity limit.
  • The number of guests allowed inside swimming pools and private beaches in hotels will be limited to 70% of total capacity.
  • Shopping malls will operate at a reduced capacity of 70%
  • Restaurants and cafes will be required to close by 1.00 am. They will also not be allowed to organise any entertainment activities in their premises.
  • Pubs/bars will be closed

Intensified monitoring and inspection campaigns will be conducted to ensure strict compliance with precautionary measures and safety protocols including physical distancing and wearing of facemasks, said Wam.

The committee stressed that the new decisions have been made in response to the current Covid-19 situation. The commitment of the public in fully complying with precautionary measures and guidelines of authorities is critical to counter the repercussions of the pandemic on public health, the economy and society.

The committee also encouraged members of the community to report any violations of Covid-19 precautionary measures by individuals or establishments through Dubai Police’s Call Centre 901 or its ‘Police Eye’ service in the Dubai Police Smart App.

Enforcing preventive protocols and observing health and safety guidelines remains the most effective method to combating the virus. All individuals must ensure they abide by precautionary measures circulated in the media to protect themselves, their families and friends and the community as a whole, the Committee stated.

The Supreme Committee said penalties will be strictly imposed on anyone found posing a risk to public health by deliberately disregarding preventive measures or not observing them properly. Inspections will be intensified to ensure compliance with precautionary measures, which continue to be crucial in overcoming the pandemic and protecting the community, especially the most vulnerable sections.

National guide of PPE for diseases and pandemics

The National Biosecurity Committee, headed by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MoCCAE), has released the Unified National Guide for Personal Protective Equipment for Diseases and Pandemics as a reference on the proper use of protective masks and clothing. The committee developed the publication in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH).

The guide – only available in Arabic – describes the characteristics and protection levels of various types of masks – medical, surgical, paper, and cloth. The publication lists examples of activities during which people must wear masks, such as going to a store, pharmacy, or hospital, being in a park with friends or relatives who do not live in the same household, taking public transportation, or walking in a high-density public area.

The guide outlines the basic specifications of masks, such as being three-ply, disposable, anti-allergic, and latex- and fiberglass-free. It also determines the tests to which masks must be subjected to ensure their effectiveness, such as the Bacterial Filtration Efficiency (BFE) test, Particle Filtration Efficiency (PFE) test, breathing resistance test, and flammability test.

In addition, the publication explains the use of face shields. It recommends using them with masks, as they do not provide adequate protection from Covid-19 when worn alone. It states that face shields must be washed and disinfected using soap and sanitizer with at least 70 percent alcohol.

As per the recommendation of the World Health Organization (WHO), the guide highlights the importance of washing and sanitizing hands regularly and practicing stringent social distancing to achieve higher personal protection against diseases and pandemics. It explains that scientific research has found that symptoms of respiratory illnesses develop on average five days after infection.

Therefore, patients who reduce their interaction with others by 75 percent transmit the disease to 2.5 other people on average in 30 days, and those who reduce their interaction by 50 percent transmit the disease to 15 other people in 30 days. In contrast, patients who do not practice social distancing can infect as many as 406 people within the same period.


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