The UAE is introducing strict laws as it aims to battle the threat of coronavirus that has jolted its economy and social life. The latest law aims to protect special needs persons who are a vulnerable segment of the society from the virus threat as the government moves to control the pandemic.
Caregivers now have to be extra cautious when it comes to causing the spread of Covid-19. Though unintentionally spreading the virus may not invite legal action, yet even causing its spread through negligence may result in severe consequences. The new law has sanctioned a prison sentence of up to 5 years for offenders. A fine to the tune of DH 100 000 will also follow. The law deals with those who intentionally or negligently cause infection to a special needs patient.
A well-known lawyer working for Prime Case has clarified that the new law is part of the government’s efforts to protect those with disabilities in the current scenario where the threat of Covid-19 looms large. He also said that the law is one of the recent stringent measures taken by the government to eliminate Covid-19 from its land and will positively serve to curb its spread.
The new law is being hailed as the right step towards protecting the health of special needs persons.
It is pertinent to mention that a law introduced six years back already criminalized any act that intentionally spreads an infection. The law relates to communicable diseases.
However, the new law has added negligence as criminal behavior, which will lead to prosecution.
Prime Case has urged all caregivers treating special needs persons to take utmost care as the new law has also criminalized any negligence that may cause the spread of the virus among the special needs community.
The law has taken a strict stance against repeat offenders by increasing jail term to 10 years in such cases.
Furthermore, Prime Case has learned that there will be more severe consequences if the infection is fatal for the special needs person. In such a case, the offender will face the music on account of two laws – communicable disease law and the UAE penal code.
A Prime Case lawyer explained that the person will now be held accountable for intentionally infecting the victim and causing his/her wrongful death.
UAE’s Article 342 of the Penal Code, which deals with this violation, mandates imprisonment of up to three years.