Picture for illustrative purposes: child eating unhealthy food Image Credit:

Abu Dhabi: Members of the Federal National Council (FNC) on Wednesday passed a federal bill on public health in its second virtual session, held through video conference.

The draft law included a package of penalties that are to be imposed against violators of its rules, including a fine of up Dh300,000 for anyone who supplies educational institutions with foods that do not comply with health standards.

According to the bill, which requires President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s signature to make it law, it is punishable by a fine of not less than Dh10,000 but not more than Dh50,000, whoever violates the requirements of healthy food, nutritional label of information for healthy food, and the health food supplements and herbal products.

The draft law also stipulates that any person who markets baby foods that does not comply with health standards, shall be punished with a fine of not less than Dh50,000 but not more than Dh300,000.

The law shall impose a fine of not less than Dh10,000 but not more than Dh50,000 against every person in charge of selling substandard foods in the educational institution if they are aware of the offence.

Whoever publishes or broadcasts a health advertisement in violation of the rules of the health advertisement system shall be penalised with a fine of not less than Dh50,000 but not more than Dh150,000.

Under the law, health advertisements must not be misleading, not include unrealistic things that deceive the public, not cause harm to public health and they must meet regulations issued by the cabinet.

Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, told the House that the ministry has embarked, under the current circumstances, in coordination with all concerned authorities to fast-track issuing drug licenses to combat Coronavirus, so that the process takes only one day. “The ministry is licensing these drugs, after meeting all the necessary health and safety standards,” he said.

Al Owais noted that the ministry has approved a package of development measures that contributed to reducing the duration of licenses for drugs and medicines from two years to six months, pointing out that the ministry has a strong technological infrastructure.

Central bank upped the ante against financial impact of coronavirus, Al Tayer tells House

Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs, said that the government is monitoring the results of the Central Bank’s measures to support banks, to get to know the economically affected groups that need the necessary support and deal with them.

“The UAE Central Bank took measures to guarantee liquidity in the banking system in the face of the coronavirus outbreak, boosting its stimulus to a total of $70 billion.

He said the aggregate value of all capital and liquidity measures it adopted since March 14 is Dh256 billion ($69.70 billion). On March 14 the Central Bank had launched Dh100 billion ($27 billion) worth of measures.

“The UAE central bank has upped the ante against the financial impact of the coronavirus by introducing a new set of liquidity-boosting and capital preservation measures,” said Al Tayer, who was speaking in response to a parliamentary question about the economic impact of coronavirus on individuals, during the Federal National Council meeting held on Tuesday evening.

He added the bank’s board of directors also approved cutting by 50 per cent the required reserve ratio from 14 per cent to seven per cent to help boost liquidity and pumped an estimated Dh61 billion of liquidity into the banking sector, which can be used to support bank lending to the sectors of the national economy.

“We will, God willing, get through these difficult times, and we will deal with it professionally, as the government dealt with the financial crisis in 2008,” Al Tayer added.