Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 705 new Covid-19 cases reported; Emirates to restore full salaries next month; schools report safe student return
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 705 Covid-19 cases, 494 recoveries, 1 death
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 705 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 494 recoveries. One death was also reported. The new cases were identified after conducting additional 82,333 tests. In a statement, the ministry highlighted 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 7.4 million tests till date as part of the country's massive screening programmes to combat the spread of Covid-19. The country leads the world in per million Covid tests. The country quickly ramped up its testing infrastructure, and has managed to control the spread effectively.
PCR test needed 6 days after entering Abu Dhabi
Visitors and residents entering Abu Dhabi and staying in the capital for six consecutive days or more, will have to take a PCR test on the sixth day of their stay, besides providing a negative PCR or DPI test result at entry point. New Covid-19 rules for entering the emirate were brought into effect from Saturday, in line with efforts to expand testing for the early detection of the contagion, Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee tweeted on Friday. The updated rules, henceforth, require either a negative PCR or DPI test result from the previous 48 hours as well as a mandatory PCR test on the sixth consecutive day of stay in the emirate. Earlier ,DPI test results were not considered without the PCR test.
Emirates employees to get full pay from October
Emirates airline will restore full salaries of its employees from next month, its spokesperson confirmed to Khaleej Times on Saturday, September 5. This comes as the Dubai-based carrier continues to expand its network, reaching 84 destinations on Saturday following the announcement of addition of Lagos and Abuja to its growing network. This is also a sign that the aviation industry is making some recovery and bringing relief to employees in the sector. On March 22, the airline stopped nearly all passenger flights and cut staff wages as much as half due to the impact of coronavirus pandemic as travel shrank. It had also asked the staff to go on unpaid leave and froze recruitment as the industry faced one of its biggest ever challenges.
UAE schools report safe student return to campus
Hundreds of students had a safe learning experience as they returned to campus last week. While several students opted for physical schooling after spending nearly six months at home, others continued virtual classes. One school principal said over 95 per cent of students signed up for in-person classes. Fatima Martin, principal, GEMS New Millennium School Al Khail, said: "We had more than 95 per cent of students who signed up for on-site learning, return to school and it was a delight to see happy faces of children fill our school's corridors and classrooms." She said students who opted for distance learning were "equally excited" to "return via the virtual school platform, interacting with their teachers and peers".
UAE creates Satellite Operations Center for distance learning
The Covid-19 pandemic has been the catalyst for a massive adoption of advanced technologies in the healthcare, education and telecommunications sectors as service providers abruptly switched to online platforms. The announcement regarding the same has been made by speakers at the virtual edition of the Global Manufacturing and Industrialisation Summit (#GMIS2020) which took place on September 4-5. Hussain Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, and Edward Zhou, Vice President for Global Public Affairs of Huawei, convened today on a panel titled 'Pushing the limits in the healthcare, telecoms and education sectors: bent, but not broken?' to discuss the impact of the pandemic on the education and telecoms sectors.
Most universities in UAE opt for online classes this semester
Though universities in the UAE are well prepared to welcome back students to campuses for this semester, a number of will hold most of its classes online, Khaleej Times has learnt. Higher education institutions are taking all necessary precautions to keep their students and staff safe on campus. Earlier, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai issued a 118-point circular laying down the reopening protocols. As part of its safety strategy, one university, RIT Dubai, will carry out nearly all of its classes virtually. Its president Yousef Al Assaf said: "We are now open, classes have already started. Our first semester will continue online until the end of October and then we will be reassessing the situation.
Educators rap, moonwalk as Teachers' Day celebrations go online in UAE
A rap video featuring teachers being cool and even doing the moonwalk was the highlight as Indian schools in the UAE took Teachers' Day celebrations online. In India, Teachers' Day is marked on September 5 in honour of Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, an exemplary teacher who later became India's first vice-president and second president. The Indian High School Dubai tweeted out a video in which teachers rap out phrases that are typically associated with Indian teachers. "Don't make noise, stay quiet ... Did you hear the bell ring, cos I sure didn't; then put your phones back in and your books back out," the amusing song goes.
Charitable giving increases in UAE amid pandemic
Crisis has brought the best out of the pandemic-hit UAE community with numerous successful charity drives. Such acts give people a feeling of playing their part to limit the damage, experts from the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) have said. In the past few months, there have been tremendous responses from the community members towards the government initiatives to support the vulnerable and affected people. In Dubai, the '10 million meals' campaign exceeded its target within a week of its launch. In Abu Dhabi, the Authority of Social Contribution's (Ma'an) 'Together We Are Good' drive helped raise Dh438 million in funds and more than Dh600 million in-kind within 100 days.
UAE-based photographer clicks masks, gloves dumped on streets
Covid-19 has impacted lives around the world. For Vidhyaa Chandramohan, a documentary photographer based in Abu Dhabi, the effect of the pandemic on the environment is unmissable. "Personal protective equipment (PPE) keep humans safe, but it is proving destructive to the environment. Masks and gloves are increasingly becoming common street trash," said Vidhyaa, who has been documenting mask and gloves being dumped in the streets of Abu Dhabi. "It caught my attention amid my daily walk. My aim is to raise awareness about the need to dispose of masks and gloves in an appropriate manner and in the designated areas. Otherwise, it is worsening the problem and even possibly spreading Covid-19 to those who pick this trash," she said.
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