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Emirati Vlogger PJA claimed that cloth masks would attract fines of Dh500. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Emirati vlogger who goes by the name Prince Jack Abood (PJA) on social media has taken down a video he created, claiming people wearing a cloth face mask were handed fines of Dh500 each by the police.

The video was posted on Monday and shared widely among Filipino and Indian expatriate communities.

In the video, PJA claimed wearing a cloth face mask in public carries a Dh500 fine. It is also not safe and will not give protection to the wearer, unlike surgical face masks.

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Vlogger PJA posted an apology on his page soon after the video was published. Image Credit: Supplied

A few hours after posting the video, however, PJA said he drew a lot of flak and was advised by the authorities to remove the video.

He also posted an apology on social media. Here is his unedited post: “In behalf of the team PJA we had a fake news spreading and messaging us that they are having fine of 500aed by wearing clothmask and PJA took this seriously for he cares alot of the people maybe it will happen to each of you.. Please accept our forgiveness for those who where messaging me for the post. i already deleted it. Hopefully that you will still support my journey take care always I’m always here to support you guys and Godbless all of you.”

The original cloth mask video claimed it attracted a fine of Dh500. Supplied

FB took down previous account

PJA has more than 2,300 followers on Facebook. His current account (PJA2@princejackabood2) is actually a second one.

He posted three weeks ago: “There was a problem on my previous account that shows the facebook unpublished my page because of the terms and conditions. So for now ill be more more careful on contents please dont forget to like and share.”

Comments from netizens

After removing the video, PJA’s social media post, however, kept popping on various community social media pages, including WhatsApp messages.

PJA’s followers on social media posted: “So the one I shared [was] fake?,” said Senyorita Monettezky Penialber on Facebook

Glenn Gatdula also posted on PJA’s account: “(Does it) mean we can still use cloth mask? I was actually alarmed not to use my cloth mask after seeing your post but good to hear that it was not true.”

Wewei Khenjie asked: “Then why make a fake video.. Just to gain cannot joke [during this] time of pandemic.”

But Axer Portillo was more understading. He commented: “Sometimes people are (communicating) wrong information but it does not mean we will hate you for that. We are so proud that there is someone like you (who promote and love) the Philippines wholeheartedly. God bless you.

Safe to use

Meanwhile, the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) said reusable or cloth mask s are safe. Aside from social distancing, frequent handwashing, cleaning and disinfecting frequently-touched surfaces, wearing face mask helps prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“When wearing a mask, make sure the mouth and nose are fully covered and the covering fits snugly against the sides of the face so there are no gaps,” CDC noted.

It added: “Wash your cloth face covering after each use in the washing machine or by hand using a bleach solution and allow it to completely dry before re-use.”