The United Arab Emirates has urged residents to abide by coronavirus measures as it announced it was reporting five times as many new infections a day as a month ago, according to AFP.
The daily tally of cases hit 930 on Thursday, said Farida al-Hosani, spokeswoman for the Emirates’ health sector, compared with 179 on 10 August.
“This is the highest number recorded in four months,” she said during a televised conference.
“Those who violate the preventive measures in place, whether an individual, shops, or restaurants, will be held accountable.”
Hosani said 12% of cases were among residents or citizens returning to the UAE from abroad, even though they received negative tests from their destination countries – which are a requirement for entry. The remainder of the cases were among those infected as a result of social events, contact in the workplace, or other gatherings.
Hosani said the rise in cases was due to people not abiding by measures such as social distancing and compulsory mask-wearing, as well as continuing to gather in large numbers in homes, shops and restaurants.
The UAE – which has a population of approximately 9 million – has so far recorded 76,911 cases of coronavirus, including 67,945 recoveries and 398 deaths.
The country, a collection of seven emirates, went into strict lockdown in March to suppress infections. Dubai has since reopened for business and tourism although the capital, Abu Dhabi, still requires a negative coronavirus test for entry.