Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 1,078 new cases reported; ministry rubbishes rumours about lockdown; iconic 'Flying Saucer' reopens
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:
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 1,078 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 857 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported. The new cases were identified after conducting additional 98,168 tests, the ministry said. In a statement, the ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. The UAE has conducted over 9.2 million tests till date as part of the country's massive screening programmes to combat the spread of Covid-19. However, with a spike in Covid-19 cases in recent days, the ministry has urged the public to follow all preventive guidelines.
A tweet attributed to the UAE's Ministry of Interior (MoI) warning about "another lockdown" is fake, the MoI has clarified. Taking to social media on Saturday, September 26, the ministry posted a screenshot of the fake tweet with a 'FALSE NEWS' stamp above it. The fake tweet reads: "(Sic) Due to steadily increasing coronavirus cases, we've decided impose another lockdown with immediate effect starting from Sunday and urge everyone to self quarantine. Stay at home and stay safe." The ministry called on residents to obtain information from its official sources and not to circulate rumours or news issued by fake accounts. In April, the UAE Cabinet had adopted a decision, stipulating a Dh20,000 fine for publishing or circulating fake and misleading health information.
Three restaurants in Ajman were shut down for violating Covid-19 precautionary measures and safety rules, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced on Saturday. Brigadier Khalid Mohammed Al Nuaimi, deputy director-general of police operations at the Ajman Police, said the three restaurants were shut down after authorities found them violating safety measures, in addition to failure to comply with public health conditions. All three restaurants will be temporarily closed till further notice. The NCEMA, Ajman, urged all establishments in the emirate to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures and maintain public health requirements.
The Dubai Police have helped a tourist return safely to her home country after she had been stranded in the UAE due to Covid-19-triggered travel restrictions. A police patrol had spotted the woman who had run out of money and looked fatigued. Brigadier Abdul Raheem bin Shafi'a, Director of Al Barsha Police Station, said: "As our officers accompanied her to the station, they learned that the Asian woman had come to Dubai on a tourist visa before the outbreak of Covid-19." When airports around the world closed to contain the spread of the virus, the woman had to stay put in the city with very little money. "When the officers found her, she had already checked out from her hotel as she ran out of money."
The 14th edition of Al Dhafra Festival, a celebration of Bedouin lifestyle, will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, from November 5, 2020 to January 29, 2021 in Medinat Zayed, Dhafra Region, said the organisers the Cultural Programmes and Heritage Festivals Committee in Abu Dhabi. The committee affirmed that all preventive and precautionary measures against Covid-19 will be in place for the safety and well-being of participants and guests. Major General Fares Al Mazrouei, Chairman of the Committee, said the traditional, folkloric and handicraft events at the festival reflect the legacy of the UAE's Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, in preserving the country's culture, heritage and identity.
Parents in UAE share their struggles in the new-normal school year
Nearly a month into the new-normal academic year, a number of UAE parents are yet to fully adapt to the changes and challenges that the pandemic has brought to their kids' education. And they couldn't help but ask: 'Is my child learning enough?' Five-year-old Mustafa loves staring at the face of his mother, Zeba Khan, during his online classes. School days had been tough at home, Zeba said, and it wasn't just because of Internet and tech issues. "The breakfast table has turned into a classroom. The teacher speaks in English and I explain things to my son in Hindi or Urdu, especially when he is not responding to his teacher's query and draws a blank. With me sitting next to him, I feel at times that he has started depending on me a lot, which is not the case when a child physically goes to school," she said.
Dubai's property market is short on offerings for lower middle-income expats with salaries between Dh4,000 to Dh8,000, and most of them are new entrants to the emirate's job market, say developers. Speaking at a recent webinar, they said one of the major challenges faced by this salary class is the difficulty in obtaining bank financing to finance their properties. "If we look at the pyramid, right at the bottom are blue-collar workers. Their housing is standardised and their employers take care of that. The next segment that really needs good quality housing is the lower middle-income group with a salary of Dh4,000 to Dh8,000," said Sailesh Israni, managing director of Sun and Sand Developers.
The Flying Saucer, an iconic landmark in Sharjah, has been reopened as an art and community space. It also features a multimedia art installation that references aliens and colonialism.
Over the past few decades, the building has taken on different roles. As the building changed hands, so did its functions and architecture. Initially conceived as a French-inspired store, it started off as a one-stop-shop with a cafe. It has also served as a restaurant and gift shop, before becoming a supermarket and a fast food restaurant.
The Sharjah Arts Foundation (SAF) began the process of restoring The Flying Saucer to its former glory in 2015.
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