Coronavirus news bulletin: Daily Covid cases soar in UAE; follow rules, urge medics; parents may switch to e-learning for kids if infections keep rising
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 735 Covid-19 cases, 538 recoveries, 3 deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 735 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 538 recoveries. Three deaths were also reported. Nearly 80,000 new Covid-19 tests were carried out in the country, taking the total number of tests to over 7.2 million. The 735 cases reported on Wednesday are the highest in 99 days, with 883 cases having been reported on May 27. In an announcement late on Tuesday, it was revealed that the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) has directed a group of schools to switch to online education after suspected cases of Covid-19 was diagnosed among the school staff. "The announcement came after suspected cases of Covid-19 virus were found among the employees who were examined.
Get back to the basics, docs advise after surge in Covid cases in UAE
The UAE on Wednesday reported the highest number of new Covid-19 cases in 99 days: 735. It was the biggest count in a day since May 27, when 883 cases were recorded. Following the recent spike in positive cases, Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, had said authorities would seek to contain the virus in localised hotspots, instead of imposing nationwide restrictions. He also suggested that the increase could lead to the return of the National Sterilisation Programme, which would restrict residents' movement, especially at night, as streets and public facilities are sanitised. Doctors said that though the possibility of a second wave of restrictions is premature at this point, it is "undeniable" that the virus has been infecting more people again.
Don't let our sacrifices go to waste, health workers plead
Chief nursing officer at Right Health Group clinics Khaya Msimango, who manages over 125 nurses, has not seen her family and friends for months now. "Being in the healthcare sector, I interact with Covid-19 positive cases or suspected cases on a daily basis. This has led to a stigma or fear people have that meeting me can make them sick. They may not say it, but I can feel it with the interactions I've had with them. Therefore, I avoid meeting anyone. The only family I have now are the nurses I work with." Since Khaya spends most part of her day at the clinic, she has to wear a mask all the time and also undergo Covid tests regularly.
Only passport scans as smart gates open at Dubai's T3
Passengers at Dubai International Airport will once again be able to use smart gates, it was announced on Wednesday. The smart gates have been reactivated at Terminal 3, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Dubai (GDRFA) announced. Departing passengers will be able to use the smart gate by scanning their passport only, the authority added. Major General Mohammed Al Marri, Director General of the GDRFA in Dubai said: "The restart of the smart gates helps to facilitates and simplifies the travel procedures, as the smart gates consider the safest way to travel in light of the current conditions that the world defeat against the Covid-19." He added, "This step helps to enhance the passenger's confidence in the emirates of Dubai about this procedures which constitute a safety umbrella for them."
With a sudden surge in Covid-19 cases, parents who have sent their children to schools said they would switch to e-learning if the situation worsens. Divisha Modi, whose son is in KG2, is confident about the safety measures put in place at his school. "We are at risk of contracting the virus from anywhere and taking all precautionary measures is a joint responsibility. I have been sending my child to school since Sunday and so far I am fine with it. Our children (have been put) ... in stable groups or bubbles. "I don't think the rise in cases is related to opening of schools. There could be other reasons like people not following protocols strictly."
UAE-based social worker helps community stay safe
Ashraf CP manages projects for a living, so he is used to achieving goals as part of a team. When Covid-19 struck, he knew for sure that beating it would require team work, too - one that involves everyone in the community. So, off he went to workers' accommodations, distributing face masks and sanitisers, spreading awareness, and stressing the need to follow health guidelines. Also a social worker, Ashraf helps them cope with the challenges arising from the pandemic by giving them food and other supplies. These visits have been a regular part of his schedule. "I have always reminded them about the need to wear face masks whenever they move outside or when at their workplace as this would help protect themselves from the virus," said Ashraf, an Indian expat who lives in Abu Dhabi.
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