UAE puts Dubai's souk district under coronavirus lockdown

UAE puts Dubai's souk district under coronavirus lockdown
The district has been put under quarantine due to an outbreak of the coronavirus.
2 min read
01 April, 2020
Al-Ras is known for its gold district [Getty]
One of Dubai's oldest shopping districts has been put under a strict lockdown due to an outbreak of the deadly coronavirus, it was reported on Wednesday.

Residents of Al-Ras, home to Dubai's gold and spice souks, woke up on Wednesday morning to a ring of barricades encircling the area, cutting it off from the rest of the city.

An outbreak of the deadly coronavirus had seen authorities shutter the whole area overnight, leaving inhabitants - mostly from the Indian subcontinent - subject to a two-week curfew.

Trams will not stop at stations in Al-Ras, buses diverted, and anyone not a resident of the area barred from entry.

A police officer manning a barricade at the entrance told The National that the residents "understood the situation".

"People are staying calm and being co-operative. People here know they must keep their distance," he told the daily. "Anyone who goes in, cannot come out."

A businessman in the area said that some residents were unable to stock up on supplies for the fortnight-long lockdown. 

"There are some workers who do not have money to stock up for two weeks," the man told the UAE daily.

"But everyone has heard the government will help people who don't have food, so we are not worried yet."

Al-Ras is situated in the Deira district, one of the oldest parts of Dubai that straddles Dubai's creek, known for its packed, narrow streets.

The UAE has 664 cases of the virus and recorded six deaths.

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