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Abu Dhabi pair arrested over video showing man with positive COVID-19 test in public

Two young men were arrested in Abu Dhabi over a video they uploaded to social media showing one of them walking around in public after he tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Emirates News Agency (WAM).

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Police tracked down and arrested the men after identifying them in the footage, WAM reported.

In a statement, the Abu Dhabi Public Prosecution said on Saturday the men were being investigated on charges of “endangering the health of others and violating the preventive measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

The video reportedly showed one of the men revealing a positive COVID-19 test result on his phone before walking around in a public place.

According to the law of the United Arab Emirates, violators can face a jail sentence and fines of between $2,720 (AED 10,000) and $13,600 (AED 50,000).

The arrests come weeks after UAE authorities announced that they would enforce more stringent measures to combat the coronavirus pandemic, which has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of new cases in the new year.

Official news channels have recently been highlighting cases in which rulebreakers are being punished, with some landing hefty fines for flouting regulations.

A tour operator was fined $13,600 (AED 50,000) for organizing an outdoor gathering, as reported by Dubai Media Office on Friday. Organizers of a yacht party in Dubai were also fined $13,600 (AED 50,000), while each partygoer was fined $4,000 (AED 15,000).

The UAE on Saturday recorded its highest-ever number of daily deaths from the virus, with 15 infected patients dying, bringing the country’s total death toll to 1,001.

Meanwhile, 2,641 new coronavirus cases were detected in 24 hours.

Dubai opened its doors to tourists early on in the pandemic, restarting the issuance of tourist visas in July. The rest of the country followed suit in September.

The country’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum promoted a domestic tourism drive in December in order to boost the service-heavy economy hard-hit by the pandemic.

However, cases surged around the time of the New Year holiday, and on Monday February 1, a swathe of new restrictions were put in place including closures of bars and new limits on public gatherings.

Read more:

UAE reports highest number of new COVID-19 deaths, total death toll passes 1,000

UAE to enforce ‘more stringent’ punishments for COVID-19 rulebreakers: NCEMA

Dubai tightens coronavirus restrictions: Closes bars, reduces mall, hotel capacity

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