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Coronavirus news bulletin: 403 new cases reported; Dubai announces new stimulus package; UAE airlines to join Indian repatriation

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 12, 2020
UAE coronavirus, Covid-19, warning, travel, Coronavirus outbreak, tourists, Visa, Flight, lockdown, Pandemic,

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 403 new Covid-19 cases, 679 recoveries

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported new 403 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 679 recoveries. While Covid-19 is raging across the world with crossing the 12 million mark, the UAE is showing the way in the fight against the coronavirus through its proactive steps. The UAE has introduced one of the world's most comprehensive testing and tracing regimes early on. With accelerated mass testing, the country has managed to carry out around four million Covid-19 tests in record time. Looking to perform another two million more tests in next two months, the country is on its way to achieving yet another milestone.

Dubai announces new Dh1.5-billion stimulus package

Dubai has announced a new stimulus package worth Dh1.5 billion to help the economy cope with the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, said on Twitter on Saturday. This is the third package announced by the emirate,  taking the total of all three to Dh6.3 billion. "We aim to reinforce the liquidity of companies, support business continuity and reduce the cost of doing business," the Dubai Crown Prince said.

Emirates' Clark says Dubai airline to cut 10-20% jobs

The President of Dubai's flagship carrier Emirates airline says that the airline will have shrunk its workforce by between 10 and 20 per cent by the end of it and that it was burning up to $1 million cash an hour at the worst of the Covid-led global restrictions that saw a sudden and exhaustive freeze in air travel across almost all regions of the world. Clark made these comments in an interview with CNN's Richard Quest for the Quest Means Business programme. Operationally, said Clark, the airline will be back at the pre-Covid levels (end-2019 levels) by the summer of 2022. "To be honest, we will be between 10% and 20% in the end," said Clark in response to a question about some of the other global carriers having to shrink their workforces by up to 30 per cent. "We are probably not quite the same as many airlines because, don't forget, most of our workforce is expatriate," said Clark.

UAE resident moves Indian court to seek compensation for Covid-19 deaths

A UAE resident has filed a plea with India's supreme court to direct the central and state governments to provide ex-gratia compensation to the next of kin of all Indians who have died of Covid-19. In his petition, Dubai-based legal consultant Hashik Thayikandi contended that several Indians - both in India and abroad - have died of complications arising from the virus. The public interest litigation (PIL) was filed before India's apex court on July 10 by Deepak Prakash, seeking "urgent directions" to formulate a "compensation plan on compassionate grounds". "The PIL requests the centre and all states to grant families of victims with monetary compensation as ... deemed appropriate. The compensation is sought for families of all Indian citizens, irrespective of their place of death," advocate Hashik told Khaleej Times.

Indian expats to return to UAE from July 12: List of flights

Expatriates stranded in India can start returning to the UAE from Sunday, July 12. Four airlines-including  Emirates, Etihad, Air Arabia, Air India Express and Spice Jet have announced their schedules of special flights on July 12-26 as part of an agreement signed between civil aviation authorities of the UAE and India. Passengers need a Covid-19 negative test result of a PCR test conducted not more than 96 hours before departure. Other conditions: >They must have valid ICA/General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs approval. >They must submit health declaration form. >They should download the Covid-19-DXB or AlHosn app. >They must submit a quarantine undertaking form.

Stranded Indian expats rush to get back on first flights to UAE

Indian expats who need to return to their work, homes or families in the UAE are eagerly waiting to board flights that'll bring them back to the country. An interim arrangement was reached between the civil aviation authorities of the two countries allowing airlines to carry people authorised to travel. Passengers will now be flying back on flights organised by both UAE carriers and the Indian government's Vande Bharat Mission for a period of 15 days, starting today. Eligible passengers travelling on India-UAE flights will need to carry Covid-19 negative test result, conducted not more than 96 hours before departure. Shariq Khan, who went for a family wedding, had barely thought his return would be so difficult.

Emirates announces 10 daily repatriation flights to India

Several repatriation flights have been scheduled by Dubai-based Emirates airline to assist stranded Indians in the UAE after receiving the green light from the civil aviation authorities in India and the UAE. Repatriation flights to five Indian cities - Bengaluru, Delhi, Kochi, Mumbai and Thiruvananthapuram - are on track from July 12 to 26. The flights to Bengaluru and Mumbai are subject to state government approval.

Renew immediately if your UAE visa expired in March or April

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) will receive applications for renewing expired residency visas and Emirates ID cards in phases. Starting Sunday, July 12, the authority will receive applications for renewing documents that expired in March and April, the authority said on Saturday. The residency documents that expired in May will be processed from August 8, while those that expired in June and on July 1-11 will be processed from September 10. The phase-wise renewal schedule will help implement social distancing at ICA centres as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19.

Dubai residents must pay traffic fines, get vehicles tested for registration renewal

With vehicle testing centres across the UAE now open, the process for car registration renewal has gone back to pre-Covid-19 days. This means motorists need to pay their outstanding fines and get their vehicles tested before its registration can be renewed, Khaleej Times can reveal. In Dubai, the registration of vehicles that were renewed online during the #StayHome period will remain valid for a year from the date of renewal. As part of the #StayHome directives issued in the UAE in March this year, motorists were asked to renew their vehicle registration online.

Free hospital services for stranded pregnant women in UAE

Pregnancy can be emotionally challenging if you are stranded due to the current pandemic travel restrictions. A hospital group in Abu Dhabi is doing its bit to ease pressure on such expecting mothers. Ahalia Medical Group in Abu Dhabi is offering free of cost delivery for women stuck in the country. The group has reached out to community organisations to help refer deserving cases for its three-month 'Janani' programme. "We understand the situation is difficult for everyone. This is a demanding time for our pregnant sisters. We are offering helping hands to those sisters who are unable to return to their home countries. They may be facing financial constraints due to unplanned stay here and getting anxious," said Dr V.S. Gopal, founder and managing director, Ahalia Medical Group.

Beat the pandemic with your new normal budget

For families around the world, the new normal that emerged from the Covid-19 pandemic was not only about wearing masks, frequent hand-washing and social distancing: Tighter budgets have also been part of almost every household. In the UAE, job cuts and the decline in company earnings have made the news. Some residents have had to make do with salaries that were reduced from 30 to 50 per cent, while others have to find either a new job or a new source of income. Among the hardest hit were those in the aviation and banking sector, along with other segments of the economy. The time of Covid-19 was tough - but it certainly wasn't all gloom and doom. In fact, hope came shining through as the country gradually reopened and restarted economic activity. In a show of resiliency, residents - along with the rest of the UAE - adapted to the new normal and soldiered on.

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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