Coronavirus news bulletin: 20-40 age group is the most affected in UAE; more Dh50 Covid testing centres opened; return to any airport with GDRFA approval
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 424 Covid-19 cases, 112 recoveries, 2 deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 424 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 112 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported. More than 70,079 new Covid-19 tests were carried out, the ministry added. The ministry has urged the public to cooperate and stick to the Covid-19 precautionary measures outlined by the UAE government. According to authorities, the UAE witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases in the past few days mainly because of non-compliance of precautionary measures outlined by the country. Speaking at a live broadcast of the UAE government's 'Commit to Win' campaign, a senior official has said new violations will be introduced in coordination with the competent authorities to stop the spread of Covid-19.
20-40 age group most affected by recent surge in UAE Covid-19 cases
Those aged between 20 and 40 years are the most affected in the recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the UAE, a top official has said. This is mainly due to the "wrong perception that their youth will protect them from being infected", said Dr Farida Al Hosani, the official spokesperson for the UAE health sector. Adhering to precautionary measures against Covid-19 a national responsibility, state news agency Wam quoted her as saying. Dr Farida said there is a "pressing need" to continue promoting awareness about healthy practices related to preventing the spread of the coronavirus. She attributed the increase in the number of cases during the last few days to some people's "disregard for important preventive measures such as wearing face masks and social distancing".
Dubai residents can return to any UAE airport with GDRFA approval, Covid-negative result
Dubai residency visa holders stranded abroad can return to Dubai through "any UAE airport" provided they have a negative PCR test result and a pre-travel approval from the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA). During a virtual interaction called #AskDXBOfficial hosted by the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), Major-General Mohammed Al Marri, Director-General of the GDRFA in Dubai, said: "Valid UAE residency visa holders currently outside the country can return to Dubai provided there are no flight restrictions between the UAE and the country they are in." Responding to a question regarding people who have incurred fines after losing their jobs because of travel restrictions, he said: "To all those who have accumulated fines, please do not assume you cannot exit the country. We at Dubai Airports and GDRFA will handle each humanitarian case individually and facilitate their travel."
Fewer Indians returning home as Air India Express demand dips
As the demand for Vande Bharat Mission flights has lessened in Abu Dhabi, Air India Express has resumed normal operations from its office on Electra Street. Facing an unmanageable crowd in early July, Arabian Travel Agency, the general sales agent for Air India Express, had shifted its booking office to India Social and Cultural Centre (ISC) Abu Dhabi in Al Mina. The number of people seeking tickets had hit 450 in July and touched 500 until August 10, the initial deadline for holders of expired visit visas to exit the country without paying fine. But since then, there has been a gradual fall and in the past weeks less than 100 people sought air tickets as part of the fifth phase of Vande Bharat Mission, an official from the agency said.
Kids likely to be more anxious to return to school, warn psychologists
Back-to-school jitters are likely to be intense for many students this year because of pandemic-induced anxieties, psychologists have alerted parents and educators. While students scheduled to attend school in person might worry about illness and germs, those who chose online learning might get anxious about missing milestones at school. "Preparing children to start for school places a high level of responsibility on parents. They must address the complex emotions that their is child going through to reacquaint with new routines and structures, including the practice of physical distancing," said Hanadi Saleh Al Yafei, director of the Child Safety Department (CSD).
Follow health rules in UAE or tougher measures will be rolled out
New penalties and violations may be introduced to stop the spread of Covid-19, a senior UAE official has warned. The announcement came as the UAE witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases in the past five days mainly because of non-compliance of precautionary measures outlined by the country, said authorities. Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief prosecutor of the Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee at the Public Prosecution, on Friday said that introduction of new violations would depend on the circumstances and how urgently they are needed. Speaking at a live broadcast of the UAE government's 'Commit to Win' campaign, Al Zaabi said new violations will be introduced in coordination with the competent authorities. "We are ready, however, to face any developments."
More Dh50 Covid-19 testing centres opened across UAE
The Dh50 Laser-based DPI testing facility for people wanting to enter Abu Dhabi has been expanded, to more screening centres, across the UAE. From Saturday, August 22, people can take the rapid Covid-19 test at three locations in Abu Dhabi - Zayed Sports City, Corniche (Saturday to Thursday from 8:00am to 8:00pm) and Laser Screening Centre in Ghantoot (24X7), Al Ain - Al Hili Wedding Hall (seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm) and Al Hili, Dubai - Mina Rashed and Al Khawaneej and across the northern emirates - Sharjah Golf and Shooting Club, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah (all seven days a week from 10 am to 8 pm), and Emirates Hospitality Centre in Ajman (24X7).
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