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Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: Over 6m tests done; new testing centres opened; 192 stranded passengers sent back; Dubai lists school bus safety rule

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on August 19, 2020 | Last updated on August 19, 2020 at 10.21 am
UAE coronavirus , Covid-19, China, warning, Coronavirus outbreak, lockdown, pandemic, Dubai, new cases, Covid-19 death, recoveries

(KT file photo)

A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.

Here's a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:

UAE reports 365 Covid-19 cases, 115 recoveries, 2 deaths 

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 365 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 115 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported. More than six million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in the country so far. Meanwhile, a remote emergency control center using CCTV cameras has been rolled out in Abu Dhabi to monitor businesses and shoppers violating Covid-19 guidelines, including failure to maintain social distancing. The Department of Economic Development - Abu Dhabi has announced that the Smart Emergency and Control Room has been launched for remote inspection and monitoring of economic establishments in cooperation with the Monitoring and Control Center in order to ensure that all stores and shoppers in different markets within the capital are implementing and following all Covid-19 rules and regulations issued by ADDED for conducting business. 

UAE is planning fastest-recovering economy in the world post-Covid-19: Sheikh Mohammed 

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said that the UAE is striving is to have the fastest-recovering economy in the world and the most stable and diversified economy in the long term. Sheikh Mohammed also said that the UAE already boasts a strong economy, is confident about its decisions and has a strong belief about its future. His Highness' remarks came while chairing a meeting with Ministry of Economy's task force to review the ministry's post Covid-19 plans.  

 UAE warns against using chlorine dioxide products to combat Covid-19 

The UAE Government has warned people about using products that wrongly claim to fight Covid-19, including a product that releases chlorine dioxide gas. Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesperson for the UAE Government, on Tuesday said such a product incorrectly claimed to be able to eliminate the coronavirus before it enters the human body. Dr Al Hammadi stressed that these products do not provide protection from Covid-19 and such claims that they can kill the virus are not based on any reliable scientific evidence. Speaking at the UAE's daily coronavirus briefing in Abu Dhabi, he warned that chlorine dioxide can cause lung, kidney and heart problems.

UAE conducts over 6 million Covid-19 tests till date 

The UAE has conducted a total of six million tests till date as part of the country's massive screening programmes to combat the spread of Covid-19, a top official has announced. Minister of Health and Community Protection Abdul Rahman Al Owais said the country has witnessed an alarming increase in daily cases, the rate of which indicates a surge in infections in the coming period. "By monitoring and tracking cases and following up on health authorities, it has been observed there is an alarming increase in the number of daily cases compared to previous days, by 136 cases," Al Owais said. Addressing a virtual Press briefing on Tuesday, the minister said most of the cases were caused by gatherings resulting from family and social visits without compliance to precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing masks.

192 residents stranded at UAE airports fly back home 

At least 127 Bangladeshis and 65 Indians stranded at the UAE airports have flown back home, diplomats told Khaleej Times on Tuesday. They had flown to the UAE after the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said a pre-travel approval from the Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) was not required for residents to return. According to Bangladesh Ambassador to the UAE, Mohammed Abu Zafar, a majority of the passengers returned on Monday and the rest flew back on Tuesday morning. "Two flights - Air Arabia and Biman Airlines - carrying approximately 400 passengers landed at the Abu Dhabi International Airport late Friday. Of these, 127 were not allowed to exit the airport," said the ambassador.

Sharjah sets up 16 new Covid-19 screening stations 

Sharjah has set up 16 new Covid-19 testing stations as the emirate continues to provide free screenings for residents. Captain Saleh Jumaa Belhaj, supervisor of the coronavirus screening locations which are run in cooperation with the Sharjah Police, said schedules of the free tests shall be announced. Two stations are opened in a day, accommodating residents from 11am to 7pm. Tomorrow, August 19, the Covid-19 tests will be available at Nesto Centre and Gold Market, Capt Belhaj said. On Thursday, there will be screenings at Zero 6 Mall and another location, which will be announced later. A number of testing centres had already been operated across Sharjah, including those set up at Mega Mall, Central Market, Sahara Centre, Safeer Mall, Waha Centre, and Ansar Mall, and Safari Mall. 

How school buses in Dubai will keep kids safe 

With campus reopening just around the corner, school bus operators in Dubai are reminded of the safety measures they have to follow, from assisting kids as they board the buses to marking students' seats appropriately. Some 120 representatives of school bus operators recently attended a virtual workshop conducted by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). Officials explained the rules, which include the 50 per cent maximum capacity; daily temperature checks for both staff and student; full sanitation of the bus before use; and setting a course of action for students with suspected Covid-19 symptoms.  Best practices were also discussed. Female attendants assisting kids as they board buses shall try their best to avoid touching the students or their belongings.

Free coronavirus testing centre opened in Fujairah 

The Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, and Fujairah Medical Zone have announced the inauguration of a coronavirus (Covid-19) testing centre in Mirbah, which will perform free tests for all UAE citizens and residents. The centre was opened on the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Fujairah.The inauguration of the centre took place in coordination with the emirate's Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Team, in cooperation with the Fujairah Police. The Ministry is cooperating with the Fujairah Government to deploy coronavirus testing centres around the emirate and supply them with the latest equipment and medical, nursing and administrative cadres from the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, according to a field survey programme timeline.

Residents urged to get 'green' ICA message before returning to UAE 

Travel agents have advised UAE residents returning to the country to thoroughly check requirements before booking their air tickets. This includes getting a negative Covid-19 PCR test result and checking the validity of travel on a Federal Authority of Identity and Citizenship (ICA) website (https://uaeentry.ica.gov.ae). The advice comes after some residents were reportedly stranded at Abu Dhabi and Sharjah airports on Monday. On August 12, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) had announced that returning residents don't need a pre-travel approval from the ICA to return.

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.


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