Dubai: The Dubai Metro has implemented a number of precautionary measures at all its stations to prevent the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19. On Wednesday, commuters were confused to see massive queues piling out of metro stations as many said they were unaware of the new rules that were enforced recently.
The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) confirmed to Gulf News that social distancing is now practised in metro carriages, and that the number of passengers has been limited.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) announced 50 new cases of, COVID-19, in addition to the recovery of four people. These new cases were among individuals who had close contact with cases announced previously, as well as people who had returned from abroad. The total number of confirmed cases in the UAE now stands at 248.
Further steps taken by the RTA include the disinfection and sterilisation of metro carriages, public buses, taxis and marine transport, with around 1,000 workers solely dedicated to the task. Dubai’s public transportation caters to nearly 1.5 million riders per day.
“We are committed to taking sanitary and preventive measures in the intensive cleaning and sanitization operations of various means of transportation in accordance with the highest standards followed internationally, on a daily basis to maintain the health and safety of those who travel,” the RTA previously told Gulf News. The RTA also advised pedestrians to use a hand sanitiser before and after clicking the pedestrian signals, and to follow the health and safety guidelines issued by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
In the last week, the UAE has enforced a number of precautionary measures to prevent residents from visiting public places. Public parks and beaches were closed across the emirates, distance learning was enforced in all public and private schools, and as of March 25, all shopping centres have been directed to close for two weeks. Under the new decision, restaurants will not be allowed to receive customers. Instead, their services will be limited to home deliveries only.
The health ministry and National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said the decision, which excludes dealing with wholesalers, will be subject to re-assessment. However, pharmacies and food retail outlets in the UAE, including cooperative societies, grocery stores, and supermarkets, will be allowed to operate 24 hours, provided shoppers inside do not exceed 30 per cent of the total capacity.