UAE public warned to act responsibly after 10 per cent spike in Covid-19 cases

Social media images of parties in hotels and restaurants show many are failing to comply, said Dr Omar Al Hammadi

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Members of the public have been urged to act responsibly after a 10 per cent spike in Covid-19 cases this month.

Government spokesman Dr Omar Al Hammadi said images circulating on social media of gatherings at hotels in which guests were failing to comply with safety measures went against the country's efforts to contain the virus.

He highlighted the low death rate in the Emirates - standing at 0.5 per cent of total case numbers - as proof that the nation remains "on the right track" but called on citizens and residents alike to play their part in tackling the pandemic.

There have been pictures on social media of gatherings at hotels, without precautionary measures, which contradicts what we are working on

"There have been pictures on social media of gatherings at hotels, without precautionary measures, which contradicts what we are working on," he said at the UAE's regular televised briefing.

"All members of society must be responsible and comply with these measures."

The key message was delivered as the UAE recorded 339 new Covid-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing its total to 67,621.

A further 172 people recovered from the virus, as the overall tally climbed to 58,754.

One more patient died as the death toll in the Emirates rose to 377.

The latest infections were identified after an additional 69,000 tests were conducted.

There are 8,490 patients currently receiving treatment for the virus across the country.

Officials also called on the media and the public to avoid spreading false information after two men were arrested over a "fabricated" television report that claimed a family of five Emirati had died of Covid-19.

Federal prosecutors issued a warning following the broadcast on Abu Dhabi Sports Channel on Thursday.

The segment featured a social media influencer who works as a reporter interviewing a man at his home in Abu Dhabi.

The man claimed his family had succumbed to the virus - which was later found to be entirely false. Officials said the family members did not even exist.

Both men were detained and investigations are ongoing.

Salem Al Zaabi, acting director of the Federal Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Prosecution service, said media outlets which act in an irresponsible manner will face criminal action.

"This negligence in the media's role in exceptional times, will lead to negative repercussions for our community," he said.

"This story negatively impacted UAE citizens and residents and created chaos, anxiety and fear. It was false. It impacted the safety and security of the community."