Image courtesy: Sharjah Police video screenshot
On Monday night, the Sharjah Police tweeted a video of it using drones to reinforce its message to the public to stay at home as a precautionary measure to prevent the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
Earlier the same day, the UAE government urged people across the country to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or to perform “essential jobs”.
The video by the Sharjah police shows its personnel setting up the drone which is equipped with a loudspeaker.
They then deployed the remote-controlled drone to various areas within the emirate including crowded intersections and public spaces like parks where people were seen strolling, defying the orders to stay at home.
حفاظاً على صحة المجتمع وسلامته شرطة الشارقة تتابع حثها للجمهور بعدم الإختلاط والتواجد في الأماكن العامه واتباع التعليمات والتوجيهات والبقاء في البيت #شرطة_الشارقة #shjpolice#خليك_في_البيت #StayAtHome #COVIDー19 #ملتزمون_يا_وطن pic.twitter.com/WJG21NYDpm
— شرطة الشارقة (@ShjPolice) March 23, 2020
From a speaker on the low-flying drone, announcements were made in three languages – Arabic, English and Hindi – urging those people to stay at home.
The announcement said: “Kindly stay at home. Avoid gatherings and stay away from everything that puts you and your family at risk. It is our wish to everyone to be safe.”
The UAE reported 45 new Covid-19 infections on Monday including that of an individual who arrived into the country and did not comply with home quarantine instructions, thus transmitting the infection to 17 other people.
Authorities in other emirates have also begun to reinforce measures to ensure that the public stays at home. On Monday, official news agency WAM reported that the Dubai Police arrested a young European national who posted a video showing himself visiting a local beach, in violation of instructions issued by the police.
The UAE’s Ministry of Interior called on the public not to visit public places and to maintain social distancing protocols when engaging in family gatherings.
The UAE law on communicable diseases which includes fines and jail terms will be enforced against all violators, the ministry said in a statement reported by WAM.
The only way to guarantee that we safeguard the wellbeing of our loved ones is to ACT now, TOGETHER and WITHOUT exceptions. Stay Home.
Social Distancing is NOT a matter of choice. it is a critical DEMAND from every one of us, in order for our city and our society to remain safe.
— Hamdan bin Mohammed (@HamdanMohammed) March 23, 2020
Dubai crown prince, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, tweeted on Monday his support for the precautionary measures and said: “The only way to guarantee that we safeguard the wellbeing of our loved ones is to ACT now, TOGETHER and WITHOUT exceptions. Stay Home.”