Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 236 new cases reported; offer Eid Al Adha prayers at home; mandatory PCR tests for all arrivals
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 236 new Covid-19 cases, 390 recoveries
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 236 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 390 recoveries. This brings the total number of cases to 57,734 and the total recoveries to 50,354. One death was also announced in the country as a result of the illness, bringing the total number of deaths to 342. UAE recoveries have now crossed 50,000, with a recovery rate of 87.22 per cent compared with the global average of 60.4 per cent. Overall, nearly 4.6 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in the UAE, and the UAE aims to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
Offer Eid Al Adha prayers at home, UAE residents told
Faithful are being asked to perform Eid Al Adha prayers at home in the UAE even as mosques will be allowed to operate at an increased capacity of 50 per cent after the Eid break, from August 3. Mosques have been operating at 30 per cent since they reopened on July 1. In a media briefing yesterday on the latest Covid-19 developments, the authorities also announced that airlines must ensure that all returning residents have negative PCR results issued by accredited centres. The requirement that comes into effect from tomorrow (July 24, 2020) mandates that tests should have a validity period not exceeding 72 hours upon arrival in the UAE, regardless of the departure airport. Elaborating on the guidelines in place for Eid Al Adha, Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesperson for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, advised residents to avoid family gatherings and meetings.
UAE mosque capacity increased to 50%
Mosques in the UAE can operate at 50 per cent capacity from Monday, August 3, a top official has announced. Worshippers must maintain a distance of two metres from one another. Mosques have been operating at 30 per cent since they were reopened on July 1. The UAE's Federal Authority for Government Human Resources earlier announced a four-day Eid Al Adha holiday for the public sector. The authority said the break will be from Thursday, July 30, to Sunday, August 2.
10,000 volunteers sign up for Covid vaccine trials
A large number of residents have signed up for the third stage of Covid-19 vaccine research and clinical trials, a UAE minister has announced. Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said the trials now have 10,000 volunteers. "We hope that these clinical trials are successful. The UAE is the perfect country to undertake these trials, given that we have over 200 nationalities in the country," he said. "Safety of the volunteers remains our absolute priority." The UAE had earlier announced that it had started phase 3 clinical trial of a Covid-19 vaccine that is expected to be available by the end of 2020 or early 2021.
Mandatory PCR test for all airport arrivals
The UAE has announced that a Covid-19 test will be mandatory for all inbound and transit passengers, including Emiratis, residents and tourists, arriving via the country's airports, irrespective of the countries they are coming from. The decision to apply prior testing on all those coming to the country will be applied as of August 1 without impingement on the mandatory testing measures that travellers have to follow upon arrival at the country's airports. According to a joint statement by the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), all passengers travelling through the country's airports to the EU countries and the UK, as well as other countries that require a PCR test, have to get tested prior to boarding their respective planes.
Now a mask that you can wear while drinking, eating
A Dubai-based medical trading company has announced the launch of the first-ever reusable antibacterial/antiviral fabric masks that do not need to be removed while eating or drinking. The Smart971 mask, launched by Taf-heem Group, has a unique zip function, that allows wearers to eat and drink without taking off the mask. The mask has been tested and approved by the Dubai Municipality laboratory and also has a patented nano-coating solution that has been certified by the Emirates Authority for Standardisation and Metrology (ESMA), said Khamis Al Naqbi, managing partner of Taf-heem Group. According to Al Naqbi, Taf-heem is a programme that provides awareness, education and guidance to migrant workers before they leave their country of origin, as per standards set by the UAE Government.
Dos and don'ts of selling your assets to pay off debt
Deciding to liquidate your assets is not an easy decision by any means. But as the Covid-19 pandemic continues to leave a deep and profound financial impact on millions of people around the world, many will be forced to make this decision sooner than later. With the sudden and unprecedented impact on incomes, countless people are experiencing financial hardship of varying degrees. Mass redundancies, pay cuts and involuntary unpaid leave have left people struggling to manage day-to-day expenses and other financial commitments. Add debt to the mix, and anxieties are at an all-time high. So, does it make sense to liquidate your assets to repay debts and meet other financial obligations? This decision may be voluntary or involuntary, based on your personal financial situation.
Indian nationals wishing to avail the ongoing overstay fine waiver scheme provided by the government of UAE are advised to submit their applications to Indian diplomatic missions announced the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
The mission has urged all Indian nationals whose visas have expired before March 1 to avail of this opportunity to leave the country without paying any fines until August 17(click here to download the form).
Dubai is ready to welcome back medical tourists from around the world, with the industry aiming to attract 500,000 tourists this year, a top health official announced on Wednesday. Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO for Health Regulations at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said the emirate is well prepared to provide an unparalleled health tourism experience, even as the world continues to fight Covid-19.
Covid-19 tests for students, staff will ensure safety: School heads
Covid-19 tests for all students and teachers before they return to campus for the new academic year will ensure safety, Abu Dhabi school principals have said. "It is very important for all students, teachers and other school staff to undergo Covid-19 tests before returning to the school campus to ensure they are free from the virus," said Neeraj Bargava, principal of the Indian School in Abu Dhabi. This came after schools in the Capital were given the green light to reopen after the summer break provided strict precautionary measures - including mandatory Covid-19 tests for students and staff - are implemented. "The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has not yet specified how (the tests) will be conducted. But we will ensure it's implemented in cooperation with parents," said Bargava.
How will schools enforce Covid-19 measures, parents ask
Abu Dhabi schools have been given the green light to reopen after the summer break provided strict precautionary measures are implemented. The measures specified by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) mandate Covid-19 tests for students and staff, mask use for students aged 12 and above and strict social distancing, among others. Reacting to the guidelines, parents in Abu Dhabi have sought clarity from schools on how they will be implemented. Indian resident Ashraf Ahmad, 45, has three kids aged 16, 13 and 9 enrolled at Model School Abu Dhabi. Like all parents, his top concern is his kids' safety.
Ajman announces free Covid-19 tests for residents
Ajman residents can undergo Covid-19 tests for free from Thursday, July 23, at a special centre. Al Bait Metwahid Hall in Hamidiya can test up to 2,000 people a day. Hamad Tarim Al Shamsi, Director of the Ajman Medical Zone, said the hall was chosen as the testing centre because of its "accessible location and facilities like spacious parking and waiting areas that will meet the needs of individuals and companies". The centre will operate from 9am to 5pm. Results will be sent to residents' phones and positive cases will be monitored by the Ajman Preventive Medicine Centre. Ajman follows Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Fujairah in announcing free mass testing for its residents. Fujairah had announced free Covid-19 tests for residents on Wednesday.
When will students, teachers be tested for Covid-19?
With UAE schools and universities preparing for campus reopening, the Ministry of Education (MoE) recently issued an advisory, saying all students, teachers and staff must be screened for Covid-19 before the start of classes. The circular, a copy of which was studied by Khaleej Times, detailed a comprehensive guideline that included testing phases and the protocol that will be followed if a Covid case is detected during the school year. Covid-19 testing will be done in phases and start on August 16. Here are the dates specified in the MoE circular: Start of testing for students in public and private schools> Screening will be divided in four phases: 30% will tested in the first phase, 20% for the second, and 25% for the third and fourth> A total of 1.12 million schoolchildren will be screened, 281,294 of them are in public schools and 838,233 are in private schools.
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