Dubai: The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority called on people in the UAE to adhere to the safety guidelines and protocols in place over New Year's Eve celebrations on Thursday.
Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesperson of NCEMA, was addressing media in a briefing on December 31.
Al Dhaheri said: "The UAE has demonstrated through its institutions our efficiency and professionalism in dealing with the crisis and working as a single, integrated and coherent national system. It is aimed at preserving the safety and health of every citizen and resident, with strong leadership that has always emphasized that the first priority in the country is our people’s health," he added.
He admitted that the past few days have seen an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, which made the adherence to precautions all the more important. "We also remind our people of the importance of adopting periodic checks for the family to protect the health and safety of everyone, in addition to domestic workers, especially after their visits or going to official celebrations," he said.
He continued: "Today we are welcoming a new year, which we begin with more strength and determination to eradicate this epidemic, with the solidarity and commitment of everyone residing in the UAE, who have been the best supporters of the first line of defense throughout this crisis.
"This evening, the UAE is witnessing many events and celebrations to welcome the new year, so let us all celebrate and commit to abiding by all precautionary measures and instructions accompanying these events, so that we and our families and our loved ones can celebrate safely.
"Your health and safety is a priority for the UAE leadership and the first line of defense that has dealt professionally and efficiently with the crisis to contain the virus. Let's reward them by protecting ourselves, our society and staying committed to overcoming the crisis.
"We also confirm that the application of penalties is still in effect, and the authorities are monitoring violations in public places, and control teams will be activated at the state level to ensure compliance with the approved laws and procedures."
He went on to say: "[The] management community works around the clock to ensure the safety and health of the community and to preserve the nation's economy.
"The UAE has shown model behaviour in managing the crisis, as it succeeded from the start in balancing health and the economy to ensure the continued work of various vital sectors, especially as we entered the planning stage for recovery.
"Let us celebrate safely. May God protect you and bless our dear homeland with security and safety."