Coronavirus: UAE recommends everyone wear a mask while in public

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The United Arab Emirates recommends everyone should wear a mask while in public based on recent research that showed people with no symptoms can spread the virus, according to the health ministry spokeswoman.

Read the latest updates in our dedicated coronavirus section.

It was previously recommended that masks should be worn in public only by those showing respiratory symptoms, such as coughing. Fines were imposed last week in the UAE for people who have respiratory symptoms and do not wear a mask in public.

However, spokeswoman Dr. Farida al-Hosani said many people can be infected without showing any symptoms and are able to easily and unknowingly spread the virus.

“Therefore, we recommend everyone wear a mask when going out,” al-Hosani said.

Due to the low availability of surgical masks, an alternative option can be to cover the nose and mouth with a paper mask, or a homemade cloth mask made of cotton or a mixture of cotton with other cloth materials, according to the health ministry.

The spokeswoman also emphasized the need to wash reusable masks and to dispose of any type of mask if it becomes moist.

“Wearing a mask prevents the spread of the disease,” al-Hosani said. “We are all responsible for our country’s success in fighting coronavirus.”

The UAE has recorded 1,505 coronavirus cases and 10 fatalities. A total of 125 have recovered so far.

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