Dubai: The Oasis Mall shopping centre in Dubai on Wednesday denied that it has closed following rumours that it was forced to down shutters over a coronavirus scare.
The rumours were prompted by social media posts on Tuesday, which claimed that there was an emergency reponse at the mall.
The post carried pictures showing paramedics in Hazmat suits taking a stretcher inside the mall.
The pictures showed an ambulance waiting at the entrance of the mall, while three paramedics were walking into the mall with the stretcher.
In a statement issued to Gulf News, the mall management said: “On March 9, paramedics were alerted of a medical emergency near Al Qouz, and the caller cited Oasis Mall for location reference. The paramedics, doing their duty, arrived at the mall by mistake and promptly left after ascertaining the right location. Their photographs were wrongly propagated to create unwarranted confusion and speculation.” The management said, ‘We reiterate that no case has been reported at Oasis Mall. All precautionary and safety measures have been taken in line with the UAE Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) standards to ensure the safety and wellness of all, including strengthening awareness among our tenants, staff and visitors. For more information or inquiries regarding the incident, kindly contact the Dubai Health Authority and/or Dubai Police.”
Authorities have repeatedly warned the public against spreading rumours and circulating pictures on social media and to rely only on official channels of communication to get their information.
Spreading rumour is a crime
Rumour-mongering is a criminal offence in the UAE. Under Federal Legal Decree No 5 for 2012 on combating cybercrimes, spreading rumours “damaging social peace and public order” and causing damage to “national peace” empowers the UAE government to prosecute concerned individuals. Article 29 of the Federal Legal Decree No 5 for 2012 states that those found guilty face imprisonment and a civil fine of up to Dh1 million.