Ajman: In UAE authorities issued fresh guidelines on who should be wearing a mask, where, and when. On Saturday, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, headed by His Highness Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced that all members of the community must wear face masks outside their homes at all times, with some exceptions.
Following days reported large sales in face masks as business activities resume and residents begin to return to their workplaces. This is imposing new threats to the environment and people related to the safe disposal of face masks.
Ajman Police will issue fines of Dh1,000 and six black points if motorists or other roads users are caught throwing used face masks on the road.
Lieutenant Colonel Mohammad Mubark Al Ghafli, head of the police health and safety committee, confirmed the new sanctions on Monday, and labelled discarding of masks as irresponsible and a risk to public safety.
Al Ghafli explained, “The correct way to discard of a mask was to place it in a plastic bag and then put it in a dustbin. People should also wash their hands after handling used masks.”
Al Ghafli also reminded people about the danger of using face masks for more than the recommended time. “The only way to be safe is to wear facemasks, change face masks at regular intervals and to discard used masks in a safe way. Careless disposal of used masks – if contaminated – could spread coronavirus,” said Mr. Ghafli.
He also noted that carrying out preventive measures to curb the virus was the responsibility of every member of the community. He urged the residents to be responsible citizens by adhering to social distancing measures, using masks, and only to leave the house if necessary.
Al Ghafli said most residents have increased awareness since the beginning of the pandemic but some are still not safely disposing of their masks. The new fines come in line with the UAE federal traffic law.
Al Ghafli said that if they catch anyone carelessly disposing of their masks or other medical wastes, besides the fine, police would also educate them on the dangers of their actions and guide them on how to correctly dispose of a mask.
Ajman Health Authority and Ajman Municipality in addition to a number of private companies are collecting masks found on the road and disposing of them in a safe manner.