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Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 388 new recoveries reported; Dubai is now 100% open; travel only after getting permits in Abu Dhabi

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on June 3, 2020
UAE coronavirus , Covid-19, China, warning, Coronavirus outbreak, lockdown, pandemic, Dubai, new cases, Covid-19 death, recoveries

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:

Dubai private sector, malls to operate at 100% from today

Under the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai announced that shopping malls and the private sector can operate at 100 per cent capacity starting Wednesday, June 3. 2020. Working hours for companies and operating hours of malls should fall within the timings permitted for public movement, which are currently between 6am and 11pm. According to the committee, shopping malls have the freedom to choose any set of operating hours within the period in which public movement is permitted.

UAE reports 596 new Covid-19 cases, 388 recoveries, 3 deaths

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 596 new cases of the Covid-19, coronavirus, along with 388 new recoveries. More than 35,000 new Covid-19 tests have also been carried out, the ministry said. Three new deaths from the infection were also reported. The UAE has so far carried out more than 2 million Covid-19 tests, and more than 650,000 of these tests have been conducted in the last two weeks alone, the ministry has announced. To further clamp down on the spread of the infection, mass testing is being carried out in Abu Dhabi, and a movement ban in the emirate to support this mega initiative has been rolled out starting today.

Travel only after getting permits

A week-long movement ban in Abu Dhabi began on Tuesday to ensure mass Covid-19 testing. The movement restrictions on entering and exiting Abu Dhabi and between its regions reportedly led to tailbacks on multiple roads. By Tuesday evening, the Abu Dhabi Police reminded residents to get movement permits for travelling during emergencies to avoid traffic bottlenecks. "To support screening efforts, the police urge the public to adhere to the instructions ... to avoid traffic congestions at the checkpoints on the emirate's roads." Earlier, Brigadier Salem bin Barak Al Dhaheri, Deputy Director of Traffic and Patrols Department, said 12 checkpoints have been set up to enforce the travel restrictions. "We ask members of the community to avoid travel between cities until the completion of National Screening Programme," he had said on Monday.

Sheikh Mohammed's special video message for 2,000 graduates

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has witnessed the virtual graduation of over 2,000 students of the UAE University. In a video message to the graduates, Sheikh Mohammed said he would have preferred to meet them in person and shake their hands instead of watching them via video conferencing. "Be optimistic, our country has great ambitions and offers great opportunities. I tell you, you are the best reason that we should be optimistic about the future of the UAE," he said in the video posted on his Twitter account.

Dubai Police come to the rescue of jobless and 'homeless' expats

The Dubai Police have come to the rescue of a group of Ghanian expats who were reportedly living in a park in Satwa after losing their jobs due to Covid-19. A police official told Khaleej Times that the expats have been moved to an air-conditioned accommodation where they can stay until they can fly back home. "We got a call regarding the situation and wanted to help them as they are without jobs and on visit visas," the official said. "After we were alerted of their situation, we transported about 40 or 50 of them to an accommodation where they could sleep."They have now been moved to makeshift air-conditioned tents near Jebel Ali. "We are in touch with their mission regarding their repatriation process," he added. The police's generous gesture comes on the heels of others in the UAE community who came together to support the expats after learning their plight, including a local food stylist who had been cooking for them and a Facebook volunteer group that had been helping out with supplying the expats with essentials.

5th phase of intensive cleaning, Covid-19 testing

The fifth phase of the sanitisation programme and Covid-19 testing in the Musaffah area of Abu Dhabi will begin today with Blocks 12, 15 and 25. The programme is being implemented by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi in partnership with relevant entities to help curb the spread of Covid-19. This comes after the success of the first four phases of the campaign. Residents welcomed the procedures, and expressed their appreciation for the efforts being made to protect their health and safety. Daily commercial activities will continue as usual. Entry and exit will be restricted while the area is being sanitised. No legal action will be taken against those violating visa regulations.

Sharjah airport set to welcome stranded UAE residents from abroad

Sharjah Airport on Tuesday said it has completed all preparations to receive stranded UAE residents from abroad, taking all precautionary measures to guarantee the health and safety of travellers, customers and employees. "Along with our partners and other entities, the airport has completed all the necessary preparations to receive residents who have been stranded abroad during the Covid-19 pandemic. All organisational and operational procedures to ensure the safety of passengers and staff will be adhered to at all times," said Ali Salem Al Midfa, chairman of Sharjah Airport Authority. He added: "We are delighted to be able to help return residents to their own homes and reunite them with their families and friends. We can only imagine how difficult it must have been to stay away from their loved ones. We will continue our efforts to welcome more residents and families back to the comfort and safety of their homes."

172 more Indian medical professionals headed for UAE to help fight coronavirus

The UAE Embassy in India is coordinating with the Indian authorities to obtain the necessary approvals to bring 172 doctors and nurses from the country to the UAE. According to a tweet posted by the embassy in New Delhi, it is facilitating the procedures for the departure of the medics from Apollo Hospitals on June 2. This is the third batch of medics to fly from India to the UAE. On May 20, VPS Healthcare flew in a team of 105 healthcare professionals from India to Abu Dhabi. On May 10, the first batch of 88 medical professionals from Aster DM Healthcare's hospitals in the Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra landed in Dubai. Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority, had earlier said: "This initiative is testimony to the relationship shared by the two nations. We are deeply grateful to all frontline workers who are working tirelessly to serve the community."

Charter flight tickets from UAE to Kerala likely to cost under Dh725

Ticket prices for special charter flights repatriating distressed Indians from the UAE to Kerala will not cost more than the fares for repatriation flights under the Indian government's 'Vande Bharat Mission'. Consul-General of India to Dubai Vipul said the state government has imposed a fare ceiling for the charter flights. "...Kerala has informed the Ministry of External Affairs that charterers organising flights to the state will have to give an undertaking from the operator it will not be charging more than what the government of India will be charging," Vipul told Khaleej Times. Furthermore, the undertaking should also ensure that the charterer will be prioritising the travel of people who are in extreme distress. Flight tickets on the Vande Bharat Mission flights are priced at approximately Dh725. According to Vipul, several community groups have expressed interest to charter flights. However, the consulate has received written applications only from the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC).

Al Adil chairman to sponsor airfare of expats stranded in UAE

Needy Indians stranded in the UAE looking to go back to their home country have been offered a ray of hope, with a businessman offering to sponsor their tickets. Dr Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Al Adil Trading, will also sponsor the Covid-19 testing fees of needy travellers going back to India. Many stranded expats are not in a position to cough up the airfare and Covid-19 testing fees. "I understand that many individuals who have lost their jobs are unable to make use of this initiative (special repatriation flights operated by the Indian government) to go to their hometown. I will be coordinating with the approved bodies to extend a helping hand to those in need. "All necessary guidelines in connection with this will be strictly followed. I spoke with the Indian Consul General in Dubai, Vipul, and would like to sponsor tickets for Indians," Dr Datar added

Divorces in Sharjah drop by 50% during #StayHome period

Family disputes in Sharjah dropped by 50 per cent during the #StayHome phase, as compared to the corresponding period last year, revealed Maj-Gen Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of the Sharjah Police. He added that even though many believed that family discords would increase during the lockdown, the cases have decreased by half. The #StayHome period allowed couples to rekindle their relationship and revive the rapport with their loved ones, which they had lost due to their fast-paced lives, he underlined. The #StayHome has also given the families a chance to go back to the days when family gathering was the most important time of the day, Al Shamsi pointed out. It brought family members closer more than even before, and the quarrels and disputes took a backseat, he added.

Dubai's ladies-only beach, club opens with strict safety measures in place

The lone ladies-only beach in Dubai reopened its doors to visitors and club members on Tuesday, with strict safety and precautionary measures in place. The Dubai Ladies Club (DLC) announced the resumption of its activities at the club, including its ladies-only beach, and also opened its newly enhanced and modernised fitness centre. The club had closed its doors to the public on March 16 in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. In line with official directives and sterilisation protocols, DLC stated on its website that it has implemented intensive precautionary measures to ensure public safety at all times. The reopening move comes as Dubai eased restrictions on movement and encouraged businesses to resume operations last week. The precautionary steps taken by DLC include reducing its entry capacity to 50 per cent to avoid crowds.

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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