Coronavirus: all public events in Sharjah postponed until the end of April

Authorities are stepping up efforts to contain the spread of the pandemic

SHARJAH, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES. 26 MARCH 2020. Sharjah Municipal staff spray and disinfect the sidewalk along the Al Muntazah Str area of Sharjah near the Ajman border. . (Photo: Antonie Robertson/The National) Journalist: None. Section: National.

All public events in Sharjah will be suspended until the end of next month as part of efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus and promote the country's stay-home strategy.

The Executive Council of Sharjah issued the order under the directives of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah.

The Council said the policy will be in place until April 30 and could be extended further, depending on circumstances at the time.

The blanket ban includes all public events along with social and sports activities as well as celebrations at wedding halls, events halls, hotels, government and community facilities.

The council said it was taken steps to safeguard the health of the public.

“These precautionary measures are being taken within the framework of the UAE’s relentless efforts to contribute to controlling Covid-19 and preventing its spread, based on the concern to protect the health and safety of citizens and residents and ensure their safety,” said the council in a statement.

The Sharjah Children's Reading Festival - due to be held between April 8 and 18 at the emirate's Expo Centre - is one of the events to be temporarily taken off the social calendar.

Organisers announced earlier this month they would have to call off the festival until further notice for the safety of visitors.

To help people satisfy their passion for prose while indoors, Sharjah Public Libraries is offering free access to its digital library for three months, starting in April.

The digital library consists of more than six million e-books and other electronic resources in more than 10 languages, including Arabic and English.

To access the treasure trove, all users have to do is create profiles by accessing the online catalogue.

A whole host of concerts, sporting and other major events, such as the Dubai World Cup and Abu Dhabi's Mother of the Nation Festival, have been postponed in recent weeks as the country puts measures in place to tackle the virus.

The global sporting calendar has also been decimated by the pandemic, with both the Tokyo Olympics and football's European Championships delayed for 12 months, and international leagues left scrambling to fulfill fixtures and decide championships.

In the UAE, schools and universities have also closed their doors temporarily, malls and restaurants have shut their premises and the public have been prohibited from visiting beaches, parks and swimming pools.

The majority of workers across public and private sectors in the Emirates are also being allowed to work from home.

The UAE has recorded 468 positive tests for coronavirus since the outbreak began, including two deaths.

A total of 55 patients have recovered.

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