Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed discuss coronavirus

The leaders discussed the safety of citizens and residents

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - March 15, 2020: HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces (back L) meets with HH Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President, Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai and Minister of Defence (back R), at Al Marmoum.

( Rashed Al Mansoori / Crown Prince Court - Abu Dhabi )

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai met Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, on Sunday to discuss public health in the wake of coronavirus.

The leaders commended efforts made by national competent bodies and disaster management committees to protect the local community from diseases and epidemics.

They stressed the commitment of the leadership, government and national authorities to safeguard and maintain the public health and safety of citizens and residents.

“Under the direction of our President Sheikh Khalifa, all resources were made available to ensure public safety. We are all partners in facing this challenge,” said Sheikh Mohamed on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed praised the dedicated staff who are the “first line of defence” in the battle to contain the coronavirus.

The Crown Prince of Dubai commended authorities protecting the public from the pandemic, such as emergency services and hospitals.

The country has stepped up efforts to protect the public from the virus.

These include the shutdown of schools and universities for a month, the temporary closure of theme parks, cinemas and gyms and the postponement of concerts and sporting events.

Abu Dhabi on Saturday announced the closure of all cinemas, beaches and parks in the emirate.

The decision was made by a combination of authorities including the Department of Economic Development and the Abu Dhabi City Municipality. Public parks in Abu Dhabi re-opened on Sunday.

Public areas in Dubai were deep-cleaned at the weekend. The emirate’s Municipality shared a video showing them being disinfected at midnight.

Spring holiday camps for children in Dubai have also been cancelled.

Meanwhile, the Dubai World Cup, which takes place on March 28, will be closed to spectators for the first time in its history.