Dubai Metro Image Credit: Gulf News ARCHIVES

Dubai: The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has assured the public that it has stepped up precautionary and preventive measures in all public transport to mitigate the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The authority has categorically dismissed rumours circulating on social media saying people who use the Metro and don’t wear any protective mask are fined Dh600.

Following a query by Gulf News, the RTA said in a statement on Thursday: “We affirm that RTA has taken all measures needed to ensure the health and safety of both employees and customers alike and their safety is the entity’s priority. RTA has stepped up precautionary and preventive measures, and intensified educational and awareness raising training programmes for employees on how to perform their duties safely and in a secure environment to ensure the smooth delivery of services,” it added.

RTA said: “We advise our commuters to follow the health and safety guidelines prescribed by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).”

MoHAP has consistently advised the public to adhere to preventative health and personal hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the epidemic.

Some of the basic protective measures include frequent washing of hands; covering of mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing and seeking early medical care if symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing arise.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

“If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected COVID-19 infection. Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing and if you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly,” WHO added in an advisory.