UAE could reintroduce curfew if COVID-19 cases rise, official says

A policeman stops vehicles at a security checkpoint to examine passengers for exit permits, as people are only allowed essential travel due to a lockdown imposed by the UAE government as a measure during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, in al-Khawaneej district of the gulf emirate of Dubai on April 9, 2020. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)
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UAE could reintroduce a de-facto overnight curfew in some areas of the country if there are a high number of COVID-19 infections there, a government official said.

UAE has seen the number of cases rise this week to over 400 for the first time since mid-July, including 461 infections and two deaths in the 24 hours to Thursday.

Asked if the national sterilisation programme, which had included a night time curfew, could again be enforced, National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) spokesman Seif al-Zahri told Emirates TV: “Yes, that’s possible in certain areas where we observe high infection cases.”

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The regional business and tourism hub on June 24 removed a nationwide curfew in place since mid-March and commercial businesses and public venues have gradually reopened, said Reuters.

Health minister Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammed al-Owais warned the number of cases could rise after an “alarming” increase over the previous two weeks.

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