Coronavirus Pandemic

Combating coronavirus: Workers in UAE get virtual lessons to fight Covid-19

Saman Haziq
Filed on April 14, 2020 | Last updated on April 14, 2020 at 07.52 pm
covid-19, combating, coronavirus, Workers, UAE, virtual lessons, fight, Covid-19
Smart Labour founder Abu Muadh shows Covid-19 course on Smart Labour app interface. Photo Supplied

This will definitely impact the UAE's ranking in the global indices linked to digital transformation.

With life going digital for residents as they #StayHome to beat Covid-19, workers in the country are getting virtual lessons on ways to stay safe.

A mobile app for labourers, 'Smart Labour', which has over 50,000 blue-collar workers registered, has started a free special course that is delivered in three languages: English, Urdu and Hindi. Using the app, workers can also report Covid-19 incidents via a simple voice note in any language.

Abu Muadh, founder of Smart Labour, said: "Blue-collar workers make up almost half our workforce. Digitally enabling them means digitally enabling half of our workforce and in this case, it will be digitally enabling a new audience. This will definitely impact the UAE's ranking in the global indices linked to digital transformation, smart cities, innovation and the likes."

Abu Muadh said he and his team researched and identified four topics that would help the workers understand Covid-19 and stay safe. "We are giving them a jumpstart kit that will tell them the basic precautions to take; whom to inform if they spot suspected cases; and how to stay clear of fake news. All these topics are covered in short 60-90 second videos."

As soon as a worker logs in, the first video course he/she will see is the Covid-19 one. There are four videos on offer.

Workers know what to do

A worker, Sher Mohammed, said the course has kept him safe from the virus. "From the comfort of my room, I have learnt the importance of hygiene, social distancing and wearing masks and gloves in these tough times. Also, I have learnt about the symptoms, causes and ways to handle a situation in case I or any of my fellow workers are affected by Covid-19."

Another worker, Noorullah, said he is taking all the precautionary measures he has learnt thanks to the course on the app.

Residents can pitch in

The app - which is supported by Expo Live 2020, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation, and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund - allows residents to buy goodies through an online gift store, which can later be redeemed by workers by completing short courses for points.

Elaborating, Abu Muadh said: "Residents who want to do good for workers can just download the Smart Labour app, register as a supporter, and buy telecom vouchers to fill up the rewards kitty to entice workers to learn. This way workers are motivated to learn digitally."

Lauding the initiative, Yousuf Caires, vice-president of Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: "The work of Smart Labour is key to help build a cohesive society here in the UAE. Through their application, blue collar workers have the opportunity, and the right incentives, to keep learning and enhancing their skills. By supporting Smart Labour, each of us can make a difference in the lives of these incredible human beings who help us build this great country." 

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