Malls in the United Arab Emirates remain open despite “false reports” of their closure, announced the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) via the official WAM news agency on Sunday.
The UAE had previously closed malls across the country in line with its efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus, before reopening them at limited capacity.
According to NCEMA, false information has been circulating on social media sites suggesting that malls and shopping centers in the UAE were closed for two weeks. The reports also suggested that restaurants could only provide delivery services, according to WAM.
NCEMA denied the authenticity of the reports and said that spreading rumors and incorrect information was punishable with fines.
On June 18, Dubai lifted the ban on the entry of elderly citizens above the age of 60 and children under the age of 12 to malls, swimming pools, beaches, public parks, some cinemas and other public facilities.
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COVID-19 in the UAE
The total number of coronavirus cases in the UAE passed 50,000 last week.
The UAE recorded 683 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a slight decrease on the 716 new cases it reported on Saturday.
The new cases were detected after authorities carried out 71,000 tests over the last day, added the ministry.
The death toll from COVID-19 was 321 as of Sunday.
According to a new COVID-19 level risk map developed by teams at Harvard’s Global Health Institute and Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics, the spread of coronavirus in the UAE is primarily due to “community spread.”
This term refers to when a virus freely spreads through a population through contact with an infected person, and is the mid-level ranking of risk according to the experts who devised the map.