Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 1,491 new cases reported; Dubai gets fourth stimulus dose
Around-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 1,491 Covid-19 cases, 1,826 recoveries, no deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 1,491 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,826 recoveries. No new deaths were reported. As many as 124,404 new Covid-19 tests were carried out in the country, the ministry said. The UAE has conducted over 12.22 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. The country has been reporting 1,000-plus cases since October 6. Experts have been stressing that getting a jab against influenza has become more important in the time of Covid.
Dubai announces Dh500m stimulus to support local economy
Dubai on Saturday extended its stimulus package by Dh500 million to support the local economy to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and expedite economic recovery. This took the total stimulus package announced by the emirate’s government this year to Dh6.8 billion. The additional package was announced by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council. "We are aware of the great challenges that the pandemic has imposed on various economic sectors around the world. Our goal is to overcome all these challenges and accelerate recovery and establish a new phase of economic growth," said Sheikh Hamdan.
Covid-19 not an excuse for random pay cuts, layoffs in UAE: Lawyer
Despite Covid-triggered challenges, businesses in the UAE cannot randomly fire employees or deduct salaries, an Emirati lawyer has said. Concerned about the plight of some expats who reportedly lost their livelihoods without due process, lawyer Abdul Monem Bin Suwaidan said employees have every right to file a complaint if they believe they were deprived of their labour rights during the Covid-19 outbreak. At the end of March, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (Mohre) passed a resolution to regulate jobs and salaries in businesses that were affected by the pandemic. Companies have been allowed to temporarily cut salaries or send staff on leaves — provided that they meet the requirements and follow the legal process.
Sheikh Mohamed lauds frontliners for combating polio amid Covid-19
On World Polio Day, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, thanked the frontline healthcare workers for their service despite Covid-19 pandemic. Sheikh Mohamed shared footage on his official Twitter handle, commending the UAE and its dedicated frontline heroes for relentless efforts in making the world polio-free. 'Through their dedicated efforts and the UAE's continued cooperation with global partners, we can achieve a world without polio for future generations', His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan wrote in the tweet.
US envoy visits Covid-19 vaccine trial centre in Abu Dhabi
Officials of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) recently met John Rakolta Jr, US Ambassador to the UAE, to share the latest developments on the success of Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials in the country. Rakolta, along with Alison Dilworth, economic counsellor; and Susan Holmes, economic associate, were briefed on how the country is carrying out the trials that have so far demonstrated the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness. The US delegation also toured the Capital’s specialised hub for the trials at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre (Adnec), as guided by the Seha team led by Dr Marwan Al Kaabi, acting group chief operations officer of Seha, and Dr Nawal Ahmed Mohamed Al Kaabi, chief medical officer of Sheikh Khalifa Medical City and chairperson of the National Covid-19 Clinical Management Committee.
Dubai supermarket fined for flouting social distancing rule
Three businesses in Dubai, including a supermarket, have been fined for violating physical distancing rules in the latest round of inspections, authorities said on Saturday. In a tweet, the Dubai Economy said the violating firms included a textile and fabric trading firm, a consumer complex and another shop in Hamriyah and Sikkat Al Khail areas. Out of the 150 establishments inspected, 147 were found fully compliant with Covid-19 safety precautions. No other business was warned or ordered closed.
Quarantine Diary: Finding peace during 14-day virus fight
On the 29th of September, I - Abdul Karim Hanif, a multimedia journalist at Khaleej Times - tested positive for coronavirus after coming into close contact with a positive case. Luckily, I was asymptomatic throughout the period and spent 14 days at home. The other option was of an isolation ward, had there not been adequate space for me to be away from my family at home. As a passionate journalist who would be out and about town chasing stories, it was a daunting thought to be based in a single room for a fortnight. Fortunately, I do have a terrace outside my room which served as my outdoor sanctuary, helping me overcome any form of cabin fever. According to a study by PLOS Medicine published in September, one in five coronavirus infections show no symptoms but remain contagious. Had I not tested, I would have passed it onto my parents who live with me or to any other individual under a high-risk category for it to be fatal.
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