In a live and televised press briefing on Thursday, Dubai police and health authorities answered media questions relating to COVID-19 measures in the emirate.
Abdul Hamid Ahmad, Editor in Chief of Gulf News posed the following questions:
What is being done to help labourers and address their issues as part of the measures?
Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police answered, saying: "We established points in labour camps to educate labours and advised them to wear masks, gloves and keeping safe distance especially when they are inside buses. Their areas were sanitised in cooperation with Dubai Municipality and Civil Defence."
There is a lot of false information on recovery time. Some claim it to be less than a week; what is the average recovery time?
The recovery time is dependant on each individual and their health status. It could range from a week to 30 days.
"The recovery from the virus will take between seven to 30 days depends on the situation of the patient. The sterlisation programme aims to prevent spread of COVID-19. It will have a positive results." said Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA),
In answers to other questions, the following details were announced:
- Sterilisation will end in a week but it will be reviewed and could be extended from time to time.
- "The situation in Naif area is stable now after we conducted precautionary measures in the area. We focused to clean and clear the area of infection. We tried to be close to the people and educate them accordingly, as people in Dubai come from different cultures. - Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police.
When will life be back to normal in Dubai?
- It [COVID-19] is a global situation, and [is] not only in the country. We are working on the federal level to estimate and study our procedures and checking the results. We hope physical distancing [social distance] will reduce number of cases and if God wills, life will be back to normal soon." - Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police.
Number of beds in hospitals
- "We have plans to increase number of beds in hospitals if needed. We also have planned to have field hospitals with thousands of beds as a precautionary measure. We follow high-standard quarantine protocols in Dubai." - Humaid Al Qutami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
He added later, "We will have a field hospital with [a] capacity of 4000 to 5000 beds."
Violating movement restrictions
- "Most people followed the movement restriction orders by the government, but we have some violators and we arrested them and published their pictures as an example." - Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-In-Chief of Dubai Police.
Leaving the UAE for expats, visitors
- "We are coordinating with embassies and consulates in the UAE for a mechanism to evacuate their nationals. There are closed airports in some countries. Fly Dubai and Emirates provided trips to evacuate them. UAE provided them with necessary services and needs." - Lt General Abdullah Khalifa Al Merri, Commander-In-Chief on Dubai Police
Al Qutami also commented on the extensive testing being undertaken across the country. He said 250,000 tests have been done so far. From mobile testing to drive-through centres, he explained that the testing facilities in place would be prioritised for senior members of the public, pregnant women and those displaying severe symptoms. The testing is available to all UAE nationals and residents, he added.