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Covid-19 wrap from UAE: No overstay fines; schools to refund bus fee for Term 3; Price Monitor to check hikes

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on April 2, 2020 | Last updated on April 2, 2020 at 08.36 am
UAE coronavirus , Wuhan, Covid-19, health, China, warning, travel, mers, sars, Coronavirus outbreak, tourists, Visa, Flight, Middle east, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iran, Italy

(Juidin Bernarrd/Khaleej Times)

Here's a round-up of all the latest developments you need to be aware of.

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

April 1, Wednesday wrap - Sanitisers recalled; jail term, fine for intentionally spreading virus


Al Ain Hospital dedicated for coronavirus patients

Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) has decided Al Ain Hospital to treating and isolating patients with COVID-19, with the hospital's current inpatients to be transferred to Tawam Hospital and other nearby medical facilities in Al Ain. The decision is aimed to provide the best healthcare services for the community, said Rashid Saif Al Qubaisi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SEHA."The move is in line with SEHA's efforts to strengthen and ensure the quality of healthcare services provided to the public, and comes as part of national efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country," he added. Read more


No overstay fines for residency, visit visa holders in UAE for 3 months

Residency and visit visa holders in the UAE are exempted from overstay fines for three months, a top official has said. Major-General Mohammed Ah med Al Marri, Director of the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), said even those outside the UAE are exempted from the fines. The officer made these comments while speaking to a local TV channel.He said remote working has been activated for the GDRFA staff, but reassured residents that Amer call centre staff can speak in multiple languages so as to serve all customers. He said all frontline officers at exit and entry points have been tested and proven to be free of Covid-19. Details here


All Dubai schools  to refund school bus fees for Term 3

All schools in Dubai must refund the Term 3 bus fees to parents. That's according to a recent announcement made by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). This also implies that bus fees for Term 1 for all Indian and Pakistani schools will be refunded as their new academic session is due to begin on April 5. The move is in line with the continuing efforts by the regulator to address parental concerns regarding high transportation fees as children continue to purse distance learning from their homes. Parents had repeatedly requested the concerned authorities to consider partial fee waiver during this period as they were not availing the school transportation facilities at all.


UAE residents curb food wastage

From splurging and stocking food items to saving and selective purchasing now - the Covid-19 situation has helped residents curb food wastage. With majority of the residents adhering to the country's #StayHome directive, grocery bills have increased for families. Additionally, residents fear having to take a pay cut, or worse, losing jobs.The only logical way for them to manage expenses is by curbing wastage, they said. On an average, a UAE resident wastes 197kg of food each year.


UAE announces 150  new cases of Covid-17, two deaths

The Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced 150 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, April 1. The total number of cases in the country stands at 814 now.The ministry also announced two deaths due to Covid-19. One is a 62-year-old Asian national, and the other a 78-year-old Arab national - both suffered from chronic diseases and heart condition, which led to the deterioration of their health. The total number of death so far is eight. The new patients contracted the virus from previously diagnosed cases, and by not adhering to preventive measures and social distancing. All the positive cases are in stable conditions and receiving medical treatment.


Six hand sanitisers taken off shelves in Dubai

The Dubai Municipality withdrew six types of hand sanitisers that were proved non-compliant with the approved specifications, against the backdrop of an intensive inspection campaign to verify the safety of antimicrobial products, including hand sanitizers circulating in the local market. A total of 102 samples of different sizes were taken from the products circulated in the market for the purpose of conformity tests and laboratory analysis. The tests showed that six samples did not comply with the approved specifications due to the presence of methanol, which is a colorless liquid with a pungent odor used as a solvent. Read more


CBSE cancels pending exams for grade X, XII in overseas schools

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) will not conduct any pending examinations for affiliated schools outside India. The board had earlier postponed all the board examinations that were to be held between March 19 and March 31 this year. The Indian Consulate in Dubai tweeted on Wednesday: "CBSE has decided not to conduct remaining examinations for grade X and XII in overseas schools. There are several CBSE schools located in 25 countries. According to the CBSE, these countries are also under lockdown to contain the spread the deadly COVID-19, due to which it will not be in a position to hold differential set of exams for each. Details here


Price Monitor to check hikes in Dubai

Dubai Economy launched a 'Price Monitor' to track daily prices of staple foods and essentials, and ensure that consumers continue to get their basic needs at fair prices in spite of the precautionary measures being adopted in view of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The regulator said a dedicated portal - Price.ded.ae - has also been launched to strengthen communication with consumers and enable them raise their complaints and queries on price increases faster and easier. The initiative is aimed to empower consumers with improved awareness of their rights, limit the scope for price manipulation and enhance consumer confidence in Dubai. Details here



Special evacuation flight for Australians wishing to leave the UAE

Australians in the UAE who wish to leave the country are urged to contact the missions immediately as Etihad Airways will be operating an evacuation flight to Melbourne on Thursday morning. "We have been advised by Etihad that they have decided to run a flight to Melbourne departing from Abu Dhabi on April 2 at 10am. This flight is subject to final government approval, which Etihad has advised should be forthcoming," Heidi Venamore, Australian Ambassador to UAE, said. Those Australians who wish to travel are asked to email to the Consulate-General immediately. Read here


100 unlicensed prayer areas shut down in Abu Dhabi

More than 100 unlicensed casual prayer areas (musallahs) in Abu Dhabi's industrial areas have been shut down for posing a threat to the safety and health of workers. The small open places, usually located near warehouses or workshops, were found in poor hygiene and inappropriate environment, and were being used by small groups of workers for daily prayers despite a nationwide ban on gatherings as part of precautionary measure to containing the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus. The prayer areas were identified by the Abu Dhabi City Municipality in cooperation with Tadweer during an inspection campaign in the Musaffah and Mafraq industrial areas. Read more


 

Ashwani Kumar


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