The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Iman Abdullah Al Ali, Staff Reporter
The Commercial Control and Consumer Protection of the Dubai Economy closed a travel agency in the Business Bay area for offering to conduct COVID-19 test via WhatsApp, which is considered a clear violation of commercial activity, as these tests are only done and licensed by the UAE Ministry of Health and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
Details date back to an earlier time when a woman sent a notice to the Commercial Control and Consumer Protection of the Dubai Economy complaining about the quality of the home test service for COVID-19.
The Commercial Control team gathered information about the service provider, and found that it was a tourism office which received the customers' requests via WhatsApp and asked them to fix the appropriate date, fill in their data and attach passport copies via an electronic link.
Then they were asked to pay electronically.
The team accordingly closed the office.
Abdul Aziz Al Tanak, Director of the Commercial Control Department, said the inspection teams monitor the markets and carefully study any notes they receive to ensure that commercial establishments adhere to commercial laws, to preserve the safety of consumers and their rights, especially during the pandemic.
Dubai has been clamping down social gatherings and tour operators for violating the COVID-19 precautionary measures set up by the authorities. The authorities have been strict with enforcing rules in the emirate as COVID-19 cases tend to rise in the past few days.
Last week, the Dubai Media Office said, “The Dubai Police, in cooperation with Dubai Tourism, shuts down a desert camp that organised a private gathering while violating Covid-19 precautionary measures.
“The camp operator was fined Dhs50,000 while each participant was fined Dhs15,000.” A video published by media office showed people without facemasks are holing up in close proximity with each other. An official said it was a clear violation of COVID-19 measures."
The Dubai Government Media Office stated via Twitter that Dubai Police seize and issues violations of Dhs50,000 for several people who held a private party in a commercial yacht without committing to social distancing and wearing masks, and the entity’s licence of the yacht was suspended for a month.
Social gatherings and private parties have been the main cause of the surge in coronavirus cases in the UAE. The authorities said that private parties and meetings are responsible for the rise in COVID-19 cases. Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, Lt Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, in January urged everyone to follow the precautionary measures and social distancing guidelines to curb the spread of the virus.
On the other hand, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) announced the extension of the suspension of unnecessary curative surgeries until the 20th of next March, subject to renewal, as part of precautionary measures taken to fight the coronavirus.
The DHA indicated in its book to all licensed hospitals and one-day surgery centres that surgeries can be performed only if necessary according to the patient's health condition, which is decided by the treating doctor, and in case of emergency.
An African salesman was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment and was fined Dhs150,000, for forging an entry permit to scam a female visitor to pay him Dhs12,500.
An unemployed African woman, 34, lured an Asian man, 33, with her accomplices and stole Dhs60,000 from his possession.
An Asian man, 48, sought the help of two policemen who he knew very well to arrest the son of his partner, 24, and force him to sign a promissory note for Dhs132,000 in financial obligations to be paid by his partner.
The Al Muraqqabat Police Station has successfully and amicably resolved disputes involving bounced cheques worth Dhs230m in the first three months of this year.
The Federal Authority for Identify and Citizenship (ICA) has urged applicants to obtain virtual work residency permit from inside and outside the country via its website and application (ica.gov.ae) and (ICA UAE).
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) conducted 297,815 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours and detected 1,520 new coronavirus cases.
On the occasion of World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, the UAE Public Prosecution warned the public against revealing the names or publishing photographs of victims or witnesses involved in human trafficking cases.