UAE curfew permit system is revoked

DUBAI: The UAE is revoking a system allowing individuals to obtain permits to move around during nightly curfews imposed temporarily for a disinfection drive, the Interior Ministry said yesterday.

There is no public transport during curfew, including taxis. Only individuals working in exempt vital sectors and those who have an essential need to leave their homes will be allowed to do so between 8pm and 6am while the curfew lasts.

Dubai also said yesterday it would help its state-run Emirates airline overcome the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and enforced a full lockdown on a district famous for its gold and spice markets.

The total number of infections in the six Gulf states neared 4,000 yesterday, with 21 deaths, after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman recorded new cases of the virus.

Saudi Arabia reported two more coronavirus-linked deaths among expatriates to take its total to 10. It confirmed 110 new cases to reach 1,563.

The UAE announced one more death, a 67-year-old Asian man with pre-existing conditions, to bring its total to six, and recorded 53 more infections to raise the count to 664.

It had already extended a nightly curfew to April 5 to deep clean the country, but Dubai announced a 24-hour curfew would be imposed on the normally bustling tourist and trade district of Al Ras for two weeks starting yesterday.

Dubai closed the main road entrances to Al Ras and halted public transport to the area, which abuts Dubai Creek, where dhows have been banned from shipping goods between Dubai and Iran, a regional epicentre for the virus.

Authorities would provide residents with essential needs, the Dubai Media Office said.

The UAE plans to open more drive-thru testing centres after the first was opened last week in the capital, Abu Dhabi.

Dubai’s Crown Prince Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said the emirate’s government would inject fresh equity into the Emirates airline, given its strategic importance to the Dubai and UAE economy. He gave no details of the plan.



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