To ensure community health, safety and wellbeing while countering any form of misinformation that could lead to a negative impact and mislead public opinion, the UAE Cabinet has passed a resolution on publishing and sharing health information related to communicable diseases.
The resolution is part of the Government's efforts to enhance health awareness among the public and to provide information and guidelines on correct procedure through accredited spokespersons and experts, as well as official government sources, away from rumor mongers and those who share fake news.
Violators will face a fine of up to AED 20,000 for publishing or re-publishing false and misleading health information. MOHAP or other health authorities will impose the fine and follow up on compliance with the resolution.
The resolution stipulates that the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MOHAP, and other relevant authorities will announce all health information, adopt health guidelines in the country and publish the health guidelines related to communicable diseases after obtaining approval of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.
Under the resolution, it is prohibited to publish, republish or circulate false and misleading health-related information or guidelines about or any information that are not officially announced or approved by MOHAP or other health authorities, or the information that contradicts with what has been announced, through print, audio or visual media or through social media, websites, IT tools or other types of media.
The ministries and federal and local authorities are required to seek NCEMA's approval before replying to or commenting on any health information related to epidemics and to nominate official spokespersons for that. The UAE Government Communication Office at the General Secretariat of the Cabinet shall select and approve the spokespersons.