Coronavirus: UAE arrests 8 for organizing weddings violating precautionary measures

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The UAE arrested eight individuals for organizing wedding parties in different locations across the country, where large numbers of people who were not first-degree relatives attended without adhering to coronavirus-related precautionary measures such as physical distancing and wearing masks, state news agency WAM reported on Saturday.

Abu Dhabi Police referred individuals from two weddings and Ras Al Khaimah Police referred individuals from one wedding to the Emergency and Crisis Prosecution Office (ECPO) for “hosting wedding parties without adhering to the preventive measures and for failing to follow the instructions issued by authorities,” WAM stated.

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The ECPO said that “legal action was taken against the eight and they were detained pending investigations.”

It also “urged the public to abide by all precautionary measures, as well as laws and regulations issued by the government authorities, to avoid legal action,” according to WAM.

“Under the federal decree, Law No. 2 of 2011 in respect of the establishment of the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority and its amendments, failing to adhere to precautionary measures is punishable by imprisonment no more than six months and a fine no less than 100,000 dirhams or either one of them,” WAM reported.

Coronavirus protocols for social events

The UAE authorities recently announced protocols to regulate social events and gatherings in a way to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

“The protocols set rules for weddings and other family occasions where first degree attendees of both families should not exceed ten persons, provided that they conduct a COVID-19 test 24 hours before the event,” WAM reported.

“According to the protocol, open buffets are not permitted, single-use utensils and cups for eating and drinking are recommended, while all surfaces and areas should be sanitized frequently. Additionally, hand sanitizers should be widely available at events,” it added.

“These measures include ensuring distancing of no less than two meters between people, monitoring symptoms and avoiding attendance in the event of respiratory symptoms or fever, and preparing an isolation room in the event of a suspected case of COVID-19 infection.”

During funerals and related prayers, the protocols necessitate “wearing face masks for workers in cemeteries, disinfecting the tools used before and after the burial of the deceased, washing hands frequently, and using approved disinfectants that contain at least 60 – 80 percent alcohol.”

Only 10 people are allowed to attend the funeral service, two responsible for digging, and 4 to 8 pallbearers.

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