By Gavin Gibbon
Screenshot of email claiming first case found in UAE is currently being circulated on WhatsApp
Residents in the UAE have been warned that a screenshot of an email alleging the first case of the Novel Coronavirus in the region, which is being circulated around WhatsApp, is a fake.
The email claims to be from the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi and says a patient has tested positive for the virus, which has claimed the lives of 56 people since emerging in the central Chinese city of Wuhan and has spread around the world.
However, a statement from the clinic confirmed that it was fake.
It said: "Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi can assure the community that, to date, no patients have been diagnosed with the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the virus originating in Wuhan, China and currently causing global concern. There are numerous forms of coronaviruses, including more prevalent human coronaviruses, and the majority of these are not considered public health risks.
"An email appearing to be from a member of the hospital's staff currently circulating on some social media platforms should be disregarded. We would urge people to only share confirmed news from official sources, to avoid causing unnecessary public concern."
According to Article 29 of the Federal Legal Decree 5/2012, those found guilty of rumour-mongering on social media can be hit with a jail term to be determined by the judge and a hefty fine of AED1million ($272,000).