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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Family gatherings and house parties are contributing to rise in Covid-19 cases, Dubai Police chief says

Lt Gen Abdullah Al Marri reports instances where 80 people gathered at house parties

House parties and family gatherings have contributed to the surge in Covid-19 cases this month, the chief of Dubai Police has said.

Lt Gen Abdullah Al Marri said too many people have defied rules designed to prevent the spread of the virus.

He said there were recent instances when 80 people were found to have gathered at house parties.

“There are parties in which the number is limited to 20 or 40 people but we find 80. This is unacceptable behaviour,” Lt Gen Al Marri said.

He said it was difficult to monitor people inside their homes. The officer urged citizens and residents to be more responsible and report those who flout rules.

“Neglecting precautionary measures against the spread of coronavirus during private family gatherings, family parties and weddings is one of the reasons for the recent increase in the number of infected people,” Lt Gen Al Marri said.

People attending gatherings should ensure that their host has all required safety measures in place and limits the number of guests, he said.

Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, chief of Dubai Police, said officers are frustrated by residents who continue to shun rules by having large parties and other gatherings. Pawan Singh / The National
Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri said officers were frustrated by residents who continue to blatantly shun rules. Pawan Singh / The National

He called on community members to take Covid-19 vaccines to limit the spread of the virus.

“The country has spared no effort. We can see testing centres everywhere; there are about 50 centres in Dubai,” he said.

“People can also get vaccinated, with two types of vaccines currently available in Dubai and a third approved by the country for emergency cases. It’s every individual’s responsibility.

“We must continue with this solidarity to control the pandemic and limit the numbers that have been increasing recently.”

On Friday, Dubai reduced the number of people allowed to sit together at the same table in restaurants from 10 to seven, and to four in cafes.

Attendance at social events, including weddings and private parties, was also further limited.

Only first-degree relatives – a person’s parents, siblings and children – will be allowed, and no more than 10 people can attend.

The ruling, which starts from January 27, applies to events in hotels, as well as gatherings in homes, and comes after a high number of incidents of non-compliance with current precautionary and preventive measures.

The UAE announced a record number of Covid-19 cases for the 13th day running on Sunday, as daily testing and recovery rates also hit new highs.

Officials confirmed 3,579 new infections, raising the country's total to 277,955.

A further 4,166 patients were given the all-clear, as the recovery tally climbed to 251,484.

Nine people died, bringing the death toll in the Emirates to 792.

Updated: January 25, 2021 12:11 PM

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