You can go to jail for concealing Covid-19 infection

By Eudore R. Chand

Dubai Police drones to reinforce precautionary measures

UAE 25 March 2020: Federal Law No. 14 of 2014 on combating communicable diseases will now apply to the coronavirus, Covid-19, after it was formally included in the law by the Ministry of Health and Prevention in the list of communicable diseases, the Ministry of Justice has disclosed.

The ministry stated that the penalties stipulated in the law aim to protect public health and aid the country’s efforts in the execution of its strategy to combat communicable diseases, including the coronavirus.

The ministry explained that doctors, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and medical professionals who failed to inform the competent health authorities within 24 hours that a person was suffering from or died of a communicable disease, would be liable of imprisonment or a fine of no more than Dh10,000, or both, said Wam.

The same applies to any adult who came in contact with an infected person but failed to inform the Ministry of Health and Prevention. This includes a professional superior or educational supervisor of an individual suspected of carrying a communicable disease. Similarly, a captain of a ship or airplane or a driver of a public transport vehicle would be held accountable for transporting infected individuals.

Individual Liability

The law shall punish – with imprisonment and/or a fine of no less than Dh10,000 and no more than Dh50,000 whoever knows that he or she is infected or suspects thereof and fails to inform the health authorities while visiting any place other than a medical facility without the approval of the ministry or the concerned authority.

The same applies to individuals who fail to show up for tests and treatment despite knowing that they are infected or suspect the possibility of an infection. Likewise, the law applies to those who refuse to adhere to the preventive measures advised or prescriptions and instructions given to them.

The law includes the punishment of up to five years in jail and/or a fine between Dh50,000 to Dh100,000 for any person who knows that he or she suffers from a communicable disease and yet intentionally indulges in behavior that exposes others to transmission. In the case of repeated offences, such individuals shall be imprisoned for a period twice that of the five years stipulated by law.

Dubai Police drones to reinforce coronavirus precautionary measures

Dubai Police has started using drones to ensure full compliance with decisions and disseminate the critical message of avoiding public spaces and vacating shores as a precautionary measure to prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Colonel Saeed Al Madhani, Director of Ports Police Station in Dubai, stressed the Dubai Police’s HQ keenness to utilize the latest modern technologies in implementing government decisions in the areas of jurisdiction. “This includes the recent temporary closure of public and private beaches which was announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, to fight the spread of the virus,” he added.

Colonel Al Madhani, indicated that the Ports Police Station had facilitated drone patrols in its daily work through the “Nawras” (Seagull) project, which is carried out in cooperation with the Drone Centre in the Dubai Police. He stressed that the purpose of using drones is to enhance the security and safety as well as to follow-up on marine incidents, navigation issues and to secure public beaches and activities in their jurisdiction.

“Our drones are equipped with cameras that can photograph events in range, whether during the day or night. They can also carry loudspeakers to broadcast Dubai Police messages and announcements to the public,” Al Madhani explained.

Al Madhani urged public members to adhere to the precautionary instructions for COVID-19, avoid crowded places and to stay home, wishing everyone safety and security.

Ministry of Interior: Masks necessary only if you’re ill

The Ministry of Interior said that wearing masks is a necessity only for individuals suffering from chronic diseases and those with flu symptoms rather than the rest of other segments of society, according to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation.

This was announced by the ministry further to its earlier circular on the same subject and in response to public queries about the conditions of wearing masks as part of the precautionary and preventive measures taken to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In its announcement, the ministry doubled on the importance of adhering to all precautionary measures, following news updates on the ongoing health developments from the country’s official sources and disregarding rumours.

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