With gatherings blamed for 88 per cent of the recent surge in daily Covid-19 cases, authorities have stepped up inspections across the country. Thousands of fines and warnings have been issued against commercial establishments and residents for failing to ensure safety. Several stores at malls and markets were ordered shut, while some establishments lost their operating permits.
A bridegroom and three party organisers were arrested in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai, respectively, as videos of their crowded parties went viral on social media.
In Dubai, five retail outlets and a swimming pool were ordered shut on Sunday. In Abu Dhabi, a groom, his father and the father of the bride were recently referred to the prosecution for organising a celebration at home. A wedding hall was ordered shut in Ras Al Khaimah after a couple reportedly tied the knot at the venue without the mandatory permits.
Brigadier Jamal Al Jallaf from the Dubai Police on Monday reiterated a zero-tolerance approach for Covid safety violators. "These safety measures have been put in place to protect members of the community and curb the pandemic. We call upon all tourism companies, local businesses and community members to support efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19. Maintain social distancing and refrain from organising or attending crowded events," the director of the Dubai Police's criminal investigation department said.
The Ras Al Khaimah Police warned that "strict legal action" shall be taken against anyone caught violating anti-Covid measures.
Sharjah's Emergency and Crisis and Disaster Management Team is stepping up awareness about anti-Covid measures and launching drives to book violators.
Major-General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police and head of the disaster management team, told Khaleej Times that awareness to stymie the spread of Covid-19 will be intensified and inspections carried out by the authorities concerned.
He added that the police will boost security patrols, which will be deployed at all spots and streets of the emirate to arrest violators. Al Shamsi urged the public to adhere to the instructions issued by the health and security authorities.
"Reaching zero cases depends on residents assuming the highest level of responsibility, and complying with the preventive measures prescribed by the authorities, including the local emergency, crisis, and disaster teams," he pointed out.
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