By Sam Bridge
Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi warns that spreading fake information about coronavirus on social media is a crime punishable by law
The UAE Attorney-General on Monday warned that people spreading false information and rumours related to the new coronavirus will be prosecuted.
Dr Hamad Saif Al Shamsi said the UAE government has been proactive in taking all the required precautionary measures to address the dangers posed by Covid-19.
So far, the UAE has reported a total of 98 coronavirus infections.
In comments published by state news agency WAM, he said: "Spreading fake information and rumours is a crime punishable by law."
He warned people against circulating false information and rumours on social media about the spread of the novel virus, urging them to stop sharing videos showing families stocking food and other grocery products.
"Such material unjustifiably trigger unnecessary fear and panic among residents," he said.
"There was also false information spreading on social media that people should stay at home and are not allowed in public places," said Al Shamsi, adding that a number of people have been caught for such irresponsible acts.
"The UAE has taken all the necessary precautionary measures to prevent and contain the spread of the coronavirus. Spreading rumours about the virus on social media - deliberately or out of ignorance - cause panic and chaos in society, and those who're doing this will face legal consequences."
Al Shamsi said the Public Prosecution would firmly apply the law against violators to preserve public order and peace.
"The role of the Public Prosecution is to maintain the safety of society and its protection from any causes of fear and panic, he added.