Communicable Diseases Decision Published

UAE’s Cabinet has approved a Decision on publishing and sharing of health information on communicable diseases. The aim is to protect health and well being as well as tackle misinformation and increase public awareness about public health. It is also aimed at providing information and guidelines on the correct procedures to be adopted by accredited spokespeople, experts and official Government sources. Under the Decision, the Health and Prevention Ministry and other relevant authorities will provide all health information, adopt health guidelines in the country and publish the health guidelines related to communicable diseases once they have obtained the approval of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority. The publishing, republishing or circulation of false and misleading health-related information or guidelines which are not officially announced or approved by the Ministry or other health authorities. The publishing or circulating, through print, audio or visual media, social media, websites, IT or other types of media information which contradicts official information is banned. Ministries and Federal and local authorities must get approval from the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority before replying to, or commenting on, any health information related to epidemics. They must also nominate official spokespeople whose appointment will be approved by the UAE Government Communication Office at the General Secretariat of the Cabinet. Those who violate the Decision will be fined up 20,000 AED for publishing or re-publishing false and misleading health information. The fine will be imposed by the Ministry or other health authorities will impose the fine. These entities will also follow up on compliance with the Decision. Full story

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