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UAE imposes curfew as coronavirus cases rise

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The United Arab Emirates has imposed overnight curfews to allow for a nationwide disinfection to combat the coronavirus as cases in the Gulf region have risen to over 2,600.

Authorities said restrictions on movement of traffic and people in the UAE will start overnight from Thursday until Sunday and will last from 8pm (16:00 GMT) to 6am (02:00 GMT).

Only essential service workers would be allowed out and violators will face fines, a security forces spokesman said in a press conference on Thursday. Public transport including trams and metro services will be suspended, while private cars, cabs and delivery vehicles can operate outside those hours, according to the official.

On Wednesday, Dubai directed the private sector to implement remote working for most staff, but exempted a broad spectrum of businesses. The next day, the UAE government ordered all federal ministries and establishments and the private sector to limit the number of staff in offices to 30 percent, exempting sectors providing what the government considers to be essential services.

The latest measures come as the country slowly followed other Gulf states in suspending passenger flights and closing public venues such as restaurants and malls.

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