Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, chaired by Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, on Friday announced that the round-the-clock sterilisation programme in Dubai will be extended for an additional week. The extension follows the positive impact of the two-week sterilisation operations and intensified restrictions on movement aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.
The committee’s decision to extend the 24-hour sterilisation programme, which first came into effect on 4 April 2020, is part of its efforts to heighten precautionary measures against COVID-19.
The move for an extension was based on a careful assessment of the impact of measures in the last two weeks, in coordination with the Command and Control Centre for Combating COVID-19. The committee closely monitored the results of the intensified restrictions on the movement of people and vehicles. These measures accelerated efforts to combat COVID-19, enabled sterilisation operations to be carried out on a larger scale and allowed medical teams to conduct extensive testing in densely populated areas.
The committee said that during the 24-hour sterilisation period, the Dubai Government was keen to ensure people are able to leave their homes for essential purposes in order to avoid undue disruptions to their lives. Members of the public were allowed to make necessary trips for purposes like buying food and medicine. It also introduced an online system to apply for a movement permit, which efficiently facilitated the regulated movement of people, the committee said.
The movement permit system will continue to be in place during the extended sterilisation period, the committee said. Concerned teams from Dubai Police are working at their fullest capacity to issue movement permits speedily.
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Vital sectors and essential services will remain exempt from the restrictions as per the previous directives, with few amendments that have been also announced to raise the level of protective measures, based on an assessment of the results of measures implemented in the last two weeks.
The committee stressed on the need for everyone to abide by the instructions and precautionary guidelines outlined by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Dubai Health Authority. Each individual should wear a face mask and gloves and keep a safe distance from others in addition to disinfecting their hands regularly with sterilisers or a 20-second handwash with soap and water.
Limiting the spread
The committee thanked citizens and residents for their full cooperation and compliance with preventive measures during this period. It also urged the general public, including citizens and residents, to stay at home and go out only when it is absolutely necessary. It stressed the importance of abiding by the updated instructions. Anyone violating the restrictions will face legal action, the committee cautioned.
An assessment showed that the restrictions on movement in the last two weeks contributed significantly to reducing the spread of the virus. The measures also made it easier to track infected cases, and isolate and quarantine them, thereby significantly limiting the risks of the spread of COVID-19.
Exceptions from restrictions for individuals (general public)
Individuals are permitted to leave home only for essential purposes as outlined below. All people leaving their homes should wear a mask, gloves and ensure they keep a safe distance from others.
Members of the public are allowed to go out for:
• Essential needs such as buying food from food supply outlets (Union Cooperative stores, supermarkets and groceries); only one family member is permitted to leave the house for this purpose. A permit for this category will be issued only once every three days. Additional requests during this three-day period will be rejected.
• Buying medicines / getting medical assistance from healthcare service providers like hospitals, clinics and pharmacies. Permits for medical visits can be obtained by applying under the medical emergency category.
• COVID-19 tests
• Cash withdrawal: The permit for this category will be issued only once every five days and for no more than one hour. During this time, the applicant should not leave the area in which they reside.
Employees permitted to leave their homes
Employees working in the below vital sectors are exempted from restrictions and permitted to leave their home at any time of the day to commute to work. Employees working in exempted vital sectors are not required to register on the website but should obtain a letter from their employer stating the purpose of their commute.
VITAL SECTORS exempted from restrictions (24 hours a day)
- Healthcare services (Hospitals, clinics and pharmacies)
- Food supply outlets (Union Cooperative outlets, supermarkets, groceries)
- Delivery services
- Restaurants (operations limited to home deliveries only)
- Manufacturers of medicines and providers of healthcare and medical supplies
- Industrial sector (only vital industries)
- Industrial supply chain for services and basic commodities
- Water and electricity sector, petrol and gas stations and district cooling services
- Telecommunications sector
- Media sector
- Airports, airlines, ports, shipping
- Customs duty and border crossings
- Public and private security services
- Municipality services and public and private service providers involved in garbage collection, sewage management and general cleaning and sanitation
- Private and government sector organisations involved in combating the coronavirus (COVID-19).
- Public transport (buses and taxis only; metro and tram services continue to be suspended)
- Construction sector, subject to obtaining a permit from Dubai Municipality and the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs.
SUPPORT SECTORS – (Employees working in these sectors are permitted to commute to work between 8am and 2pm)
- Banking and financial services (banks and exchange centres)
- Social welfare services.
- Laundry services (for permitted outlets)
- Maintenance services and repair workshops