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Up to Dh100,000 fine, jail for infected person deliberately spreading infectious disease in UAE

Abu Dhabi: A fine from Dh50,000 to Dh100,000 will be imposed on anyone convicted of deliberately transmitting an infectious disease through their actions, the UAE Public Prosecution has warned. A maximum jail sentence of five years can also be imposed on a convicted individual, the authority said.

“It is prohibited for any person who knows that he/she is infected of one of the diseases [stated in Law No 14 of 2014 concerning combatting contagious diseases] to deliberately commit any behaviour that would cause the transmission of the disease to others,” Public Prosecution warned.

“Anybody who violates this prohibition shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a duration of not more than five years and/or fined a monetary penalty of not less than Dh50,000 and not more than Dh100,000,” it added.

Inclusion of COVID-19

The penalties have been detailed in Articles 34 and 39 of Federal Law No 14 of 2014 concerning combatting contagious diseases and they include COVID-19 with effect from March 2020. In case a convicted person is found repeating the offence, the jail term will be doubled.

Other penalties

Other aspects of Law No 14 include penalties for doctors, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and medical professional who fail to inform health authorities within 24 hours if a person is suffering from or has died of a communicable disease. In such a case, the medical professional can either be sentenced to jail or fined up to Dh10,000, or both.

Supervisors at the workplace are also obligated to inform the authorities about people under them who may be infected. In addition, drivers of public transport vehicles and ship or airplane captains will also be held accountable under the law for transporting infected people.

Infected individuals

A jail sentence or a Dh10,000-Dh50,000 fine, or both, will be imposed on anyone who knows that he or she is infected, or suspects infection from a contagious disease, and yet fails to inform the health authorities while visiting any place, other than a medical facility, without the approval of the health authorities concerned. These infected individuals are also obligated to show up for tests and treatment and can be penalised if they fail to do so.

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