Incidents of certain individuals trying to create coronavirus panic among people by indulging in acts such as spitting on shopping trolleys and food are on the rise throughout the Gulf.
Recently, an unidentified man was arrested in Saudi Arabia after he was caught spitting on shopping trolleys at a mall. Now, a bakery in the UAE has been shut down for flouting hygiene rules following the pandemic after a baker was caught on camera touching a piece of bread after licking his finger.
Sharjah bakery shut down
The bakery, located in one of Sharjah's residential areas, has been shut down following an order by the Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD) after authorities got their hands on a video which shows one of the bakery workers licking his finger and touching the dough as he prepares the bread.
Products confiscated immediately
The Sharjah Municipality confiscated all the bakery items and suspended the bread baking process at the bakery as soon as it got the video on Monday, April 13.
According to a report in the Khaleej Times, a top official at the authority said that a team of inspectors was sent to the bakery to carry out the seizure. The municipality informed the Sharjah Economic Development Department, the government body authorised to issue shutdown orders in the emirate.
The municipality official stressed that the health and safety of consumers are its "top priority."
In all the seven emirates of the UAE, authorities have been carrying out routine inspections in eateries and hotels to make sure they are complying with the health and hygiene standards and not flouting any rules.
Similar incident in Ajman
A similar incident was reported in the emirate of Ajman where a bakery worker was detained for spitting on a piece of bread dough before putting it inside the oven to bake.
Penalties and punishments
The UAE takes strict action against anyone who flouts health and hygiene rules during the coronavirus pandemic. If found guilty of noncompliance or malpractice, the offender could face imprisonment for up to two years along with a fine not exceeding AED 20,000, according to a legal adviser.
In case the offender tests positive for coronavirus, then he shall be punished as per Article 34 of the UAE's Federal Law No 14 of 2014. Under this law, any person who knows that he has a serious contagious disease and intentionally indulged in behaviour that could result in the transmission of the disease to others, the person can be imprisoned for five years and fined AED 100,000.