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Coronavirus Pandemic

Coronavirus news bulletin: New UAE quarantine facility opens; smart devices monitor self-isolation; Indian doctor dies; guidelines for places of worship Filed on June 8, 2020
uae coronavirus, covid-19, covid testing, self isolation


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 540 new Covid-19 cases, 745 recoveries, one death
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday announced 540 new cases of Covid-19 infections, and 745 cases of recovery. One death from the infection was also reported. More than 44,000 new Covid-19 tests have also been carried out, the ministry said. The ministry wished a speedy recovery to all patients, calling on the public to abide by the precautionary measures in place and following all necessary medical advice in order to avoid more infections. On Saturday, the UAE government announced that its health entities have crossed a new milestone of 2.5 million tests for Covid-19 in the country, which is the highest worldwide. With more recoveries than new cases in the country, the number of active cases in the UAE has declined over the last two days and now stands at 16,932.
New Abu Dhabi quarantine facility can serve nearly 17,000 Covid-19 patients
A new quarantine facility has been set up in Al Razeen area of Abu Dhabi, which can accommodate close to 17,000 Covid-19 patients, including its fourth phase which was readied in a record time and can accept 9,984 patients. The Abu Dhabi Media Office said Al Razeen Health Quarantine Complex is operated by medical staff, administrators and security personnel, and delivers the necessary services and daily meals to all patients during their quarantine period. Dr Partha Banerjee, CEO of Al Mazroui Medical Centre who heads the management of patients at these facilities, said there are two quarantine facilities in Al Razeen. "Al Razeen 4 is having more than 9,980 beds and Al Razeen 2 about 7,000. We have been managing these facilities for the last three weeks," said Dr Banerjee, who also manages a 205-bed field hospital in Al Razeen. Faisal Al Kamali, vice-president - facility and infrastructure management at the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap), said the new phase has 2,784 rooms.
Smart wristbands to monitor self isolation in Abu Dhabi
Smartwatches are being used to monitor and track Covid-19 patients in Abu Dhabi under self-quarantine at homes. The electronic wristband device, launched by the Abu Dhabi Department of Health (DoH), serves as a tracing and monitoring tool. Asymptomatic patients or those with mild symptoms with no risk factors and don't require to be hospitalised will use the device, which is linked to Covid-19 testing and tracing app, AlHosn. The band is fixed on the arms of Covid-19 patients who have been allowed by health authorities to self-isolate themselves. Patients between the ages of 18 and 59 and have met a set of criteria, can be allowed by doctors to self-quarantine at home. The patient must meet the DoT and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre Home Isolation Programme standards and regulations, according to authorities.
Dubai-based mum of triplets waits to meet daughters again
With her twin daughters stuck in Islamabad, Dubai resident Naheed Bilal is waiting for the day when she would see her little ones again. A short trip of 10 days in March has turned out to be an endless wait for this Dubai mother. "I have triplets - two daughters and one son. My daughters left with their grandmother and aunt for a short trip to Pakistan. Little did we realise that travel restrictions will be imposed due to Covid-19 and we'll be separated for this long. "My children are inconsolable over the phone and video calls. They've never been away for so long. I and my husband have been relentlessly trying and applying everywhere possible so that we can be reunited with our daughters," Naheed said, fighting back tears over the telephone. Being separated in distant lands, the girls missed their brother on their birthday this May.
Recycled water in UAE is free of Covid-19 coronavirus: Research
The UAE's treated sewage water is free of the Covid-19 coronavirus and can be used safely for irrigation and municipal distribution, a new research has shown. A team of experts from the Khalifa University of Science and Technology (KU) said they were not able to detect the Covid-19 virus in any of the treated wastewater samples from three different plants across three emirates. The researchers have been monitoring the presence of the virus in wastewater as they believe this will be a good predictor of how many people are infected among the population. They said this method could help not only in tracking the spread of Covid-19 but also in early detection. With their latest study - carried out in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy (DoE) and other partners - the experts found that wastewater treatment processes effectively deactivate the virus.
Fewer child abuse cases reported in Sharjah
There has been a marked drop in cases of violence and abuse against children being reported during the Covid-19 period, revealed Amina Al Rifai, director of Children Protection Department at Sharjah Social Service Department (SSSD). She was addressing a webinar titled 'Stop violence against children' attended by 450 child protection experts. Al Rifai said that the reports of violence and abuse against children on the department's hotline saw a huge decline during Covid-19 in April and May. The 24-hour child helpline (800700) received about 166 reports in April and May as compared to the three months (January, February and March) before the Covid crisis in which about 401 reports were received, she added. Al Rifai attributed the decrease of the reports to the fact that during Covid-19 period, parents have been staying with their children at home, and are in close proximity with them, which increases the family bonding, and the child doesn't leave the house, which also reduces the possibility of him being at risk.

Guidelines for reopening of places of worship in Dubai
Places of worship in Dubai will be allowed to host worshippers at a maximum capacity of 50 per cent once a reopening date is announced, according to a new set of guidelines issued by the Community Development Authority (CDA) on Sunday. The document stated that these centres of worship can only open during defined prayer timings, as agreed with the authority. >The prayer must start exactly at the agreed time, and the place of worship must be closed immediately after. >All doors and windows must also be kept open from the start of the prayers until the end. >Worship centres must ensure that equipment to measure the temperature of worshippers prior to entering the premises is available. >Anyone with a temperature of 37.5°C shall not be permitted entry.
Two repatriation flights announced to Ghana from UAE
Two evacuation flights have been scheduled from Dubai to Accra, the capital of Ghana, on June 12 and 16. Besides, illegal expats have been granted amnesty and their fines for overstay waived, the mission said in a travel advisory. Earlier this week, the Dubai Police rescued a group of expats who were reportedly living in a park in Satwa after losing their jobs due to Covid-19. "Emirates Airline will operate two flights from Terminal 3 of Dubai International Airport to Accra on June 12 and 16. Ticket will cost Dh2,500 per passenger for economy class and Dh5,000 for business class," the embassy advisory said. Booking and sale of air tickets will be only through Emirates' official website and at offices, starting from today. The embassy notified that all nationals staying illegally have a chance to avail amnesty.
Indian doctor on frontline dies of Covid-19 in Abu Dhabi
A frontline doctor who took care of Covid-19 patients in Abu Dhabi died of the virus. Dr Sudhir Rambhau Washimkar was an internal medicine specialist at Burjeel Royal Hospital, Al Ain. He was 61. The Indian doctor from Nagpur, Maharashtra state, breathed his last on Saturday and his funeral was held on Sunday morning. VPS Healthcare mourned the loss of a Covid-19 warrior, hailing Dr Sudhir as a selfless doctor, who was always available to his patients. He was a frontliner who passionately treated and attended to Covid patients since the outbreak began. He tested positive for the virus on May 9. Two days later, he was transferred to Al Ain Hospital for treatment. Dr Arun Menon, regional director for VPS Healthcare's Al Ain region, said the Dr Sudhir's demise was a "great loss for the institution".
210 people fined at Dubai beaches for violating precautionary measures
As many as 210 people were fined at Dubai beaches in just one day for violating the precautionary measures put in place to stymie the spread of Covid-19. The beach security teams detected the violations while monitoring the compliance of the prescribed guidelines. Colonel Saeed Al Madhani, director of Ports Police Station in Dubai, said the main violations related to either people not maintaining social distancing norms or not wearing the face masks, adding that both violations entail a fine of up to Dh3,000, reported Arabic daily Emarat Al Youm on Sunday. Al Madhani said that beaches, especially the Kite Beach, are witnessing more people on Fridays. Many people - spotted by security teams without masks and flouting social distancing guidelines - were fined immediately.

Latinos pay tribute to UAE with special rendition of anthem
A group of 30 Latin artists in the country have come together in a unique tribute to the UAE in its fight against Covid-19. They created a rendition of the UAE national anthem never seen or heard before. The scratch ensemble made up of musicians, singers, dancers and even acrobats, all from South America, used a range of strings, brass, woodwinds and percussions - from the Peruvian cajón to the Cuban conga - to produce this special Latino-styled Ishy Bilady. A day ahead of its scheduled release on social media today, its producer and Dubai-based Colombian musician Oscar Martinez told Khaleej Times it was their way of thanking the UAE for how it took care of its residents in the country's fight against the global pandemic.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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