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Mon 3 Feb 2020 11:04 AM

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Jokes, rumours about coronavirus a crime in UAE

Police officials have warned that spreading false information about the number of people diagnosed with the virus in the UAE may lead to legal consequences

Jokes, rumours about coronavirus a crime in UAE
Image: Getty Images

Joking about the coronavirus and spreading false information may lead to legal consequences in the UAE, according to local media reports.

Citing a Dubai Police official, Arabic-daily Emarat Alyoum reported that police are warning residents against joking about being infected with the disease, or spreading rumours and videos based on false information.

Spreading unverified rumours about the number of people diagnosed with coronavirus in the country is illegal under the UAE’s federal cybercrime laws, the source told the local newspaper.

So far, there have been five confirmed cases of the virus reported in the UAE.

On Saturday, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention announced that a new case had been diagnosed, adding that the person was stable and under medical care. UAE authorities said that the man had arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the original outbreak took place.

The other four cases were all members of a single Chinese family, and remain under medical care and in stable condition.

“The Ministry is taking all necessary precautions in coordination with other relevant health authorities in the country in order to ensure the safety of the citizens and residents,” the Ministry said, adding that there is currently no cause for alarm or concern.

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