Fake news, generic
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Dubai: If you fell for the latest WhatsApp rumour asking you to remove your shoes and clothes from the balcony as your building will be sprayed with disinfectants from helicopters, here is a spoiler.

UAE authorities have categorically denied social media messages that claimed that the government is spraying pesticides or disinfectants from the sky from 11pm to 5am to fight against the spread of novel coronavirus.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, has denied all allegations and rumours spread via social networking sites surrounding the spraying of pesticides in UAE skies as a precautionary measure to combat COVID-19, WAM reported on Wednesday.

In a statement, NCEMA called on the public to obtain information and news from official sources and relevant authorities, and to avoid sharing of misinformation and rumours. It added that individuals or bodies that instigate or further propagate the spread of misinformation will be pursued and legal action will be taken against them.

Separately, Dubai Municipality’s WhatsApp service to verify rumours confirmed to Gulf News that the civic body had not issued any circular ordering spraying of disinfectants in Dubai streets and on buildings at night.

An Indian resident said he heard the rumour from a pesticide company executive and also from a security guard living in a cluster of labour accommodations in Jebel Ali.

“Though it sounded absurd, I started thinking there may be some truth in it as the pesticide company executive might have some industry knowledge about such techniques and the security guard even claimed that he saw some green liquid being sprayed in the area of his accommodation,” he told Gulf News.

Another resident said he notified the newspaper about the message he received on WhatsApp so that the government gets informed about it and takes strict action against those spreading such rumours.