26 May Tuesday

Dubai goes on two-week lockdown to disinfect city round the clock

Anas YassinUpdated: Sunday Apr 5, 2020

Manama: Dubai imposed a two-week-long lockdown, to carry out a 24-hour disinfection drive and curb the spread of Covid-19, according to the official news agency WAM.  

Dubai Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has decided to extend the disinfection programme on a 24-hour basis starting on Saturday. As part of the move, the sterilisation will be carried out on the entire day.

All movements will be restricted around-the-clock and violators will be dealt with stringent legal action, according to the supreme committee. Individuals will not be allowed to leave the home, except for essential purposes.

Supermarkets, pharmacies, food and medicine delivery services are allowed to operate as usual. 

Residents in Dubai are allowed to go out for buying food, medicines or receiving healthcare services. However, only one member of each family is permitted to leave home for essential purposes, and they should wear face mask and gloves.

According to committee, employees working in the vital sectors, like healthcare, food outlets, media, telecommunication, banks, are exempted from the 24 –hour restrictions.

The new guidelines are subject to further extension.

The massive sterilisation programme, which was backed by novel technologies, was launched on March 26 as a weekend disinfection drive. It was executed during 8 pm to 6 am and later extended to April 4.

The supreme committee also said that extensive medical tests will be conducted in densely populated areas in Dubai to ensure residents are free from COVID-19 infection.

Metro and Tram services in Dubai will be suspended from Sunday until further notice, local media reported, citing official circular.

But public buses and taxis will continue to operate as usual. Earlier, as part of the National Disinfection Program, public transport, including the Metro, was suspended from 8am to 6am. Bus transportation will be free during the lockdown and a 50% discount on taxi rides will be offered.

Dubai has already locked down the Al Ras district, one of the city’s densely populated areas, since March 31 in a bid to stem the spread of the virus.

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi extended the temporary closure of commercial centres, shopping malls, cinemas, and other places of entertainment till further orders.

The UAE has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases, as 1,505 virus cases and 10 deaths reported so far, including 241 new cases and one death on Saturday.