DUBAI: Medical professionals in the UAE face prosecution if they fail to report cases of COVID-19, state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.
The order comes after the Ministry of Health and Prevention classified the novel coronavirus as a communicable disease.
The decision to reclassify the disease means that the laws attached will now apply to the coronavirus – including the mandatory reporting of suspected cases.
Doctors, pharmacists and medical workers will face jail and fines of up to $2,722 if they fail to report cases of coronavirus, including suspected cases, and coronavirus-related deaths to the authorities within 24 hours.
The law is also applied to adults who have been in contact with cases, direct managers at work or educational institutions and captains of planes, boats and public transport who fail to report possible and actual cases to the Ministry of Health.
Possible cases and diagnosed individuals who travel around or leave health premises without notifying authorities could also face jail time and a fine between $2,722 and $13,612. The same penalty will be applied to arrivals and residents who fail to report themselves if they suspect that they could have the disease.
Those diagnosed with a communicable disease, including COVID-19, but act purposefully in a way which can transfer the disease could face imprisonment of maximum 5 years and a fine between $13,612 and $27,224.
There are 198 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the country, out of which 41 recovered and 2 died.