Coronavirus news bulletin: UAE launches 'Your Data, Your Identity’; Sharjah announces resumption of social events
Around-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:
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 1,390 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,708 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported. As many as 110,807 new Covid-19 tests were carried out, taking the total to over 12.66 million so far. Meanwhile, it was revealed yesterday that pre-travel Covid-19 test results from a total of seven laboratories in India will no longer be accepted in Dubai, according to Air India Express. Last month, Indian diplomatic sources, Air India Express and flydubai announced that test results from four labs will not be accepted. On Monday, October 26, three more labs were added to the list. These RT-PCR testing laboratories are Suryam Lab in Jaipur, Microhealth Labs in Kerala, Dr P Bhasin Pathlabs Ltd in Delhi, Noble Diagnostic Centre in Delhi, Aza diagnostic Centre, 360 Diagnostic and Health Services, and AARA Clinical Laboratories.
The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC) has announced the launch of the ‘“Your Data, Your Identity’” initiative that aims to update personal information through the FAIC’s smartphone application, or through the authority’s website. The initiative aims to meet the goals of the medical sector and other sectors within the coordinated efforts to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. The first phase of the initiative aims to update the data of UAE nationals starting October 28, 2020, and extending up to a month, and will be followed by all other segments of society at a later stage.
Under the directives of Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, the Executive Council of the Sharjah on Tuesday issued a decision permitting the resumption of holding social events in halls, hotels and homes, starting from November 1, according to conditions and controls. According to the decision, in the event that the social event is held in a hall or hotel, the coronavirus precautionary measures issued by the Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Committee in the Emirate of Sharjah must be followed, and in the event that the social event is held at home, approvals are required from the nearest suburban council to the house.
Emirates airline has expanded the list of laboratories from where Pakistani travellers can take Covid-19 tests. Several public entities have been added to the list, taking the total number of approved centres to 133. Of these, 28 facilities are in Karachi; 27 in Lahore; 19 in Islamabad; nine in Rawalpindi; eight in Peshawar; and three in Quetta. Approved labs are also available in Wah, Multan, Faisalabad, Wazirabad, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, Muzaffargarh, Sargodha, Sialkot, Hyderabad, Sehwan, Sukkar, Larkana, Abottabad, Sawat, DI Khan, Bannu, Mardan, Sawabi, Chitral, Gawadar, Mirpur, Rawlakot, Gilgit and Skardu, among others. If the final destination is Hong Kong or China for passengers from Pakistan, the Dubai-based carrier said it will only accept Covid-19 negative test certificate from a Pakistan Government-approved laboratory where a QR code is embedded on the printed certificate for verification purpose.
Sharjah recently launched a series of 16 e-booklets on staying safe in school in the time of Covid-19. Tailored to the daily new-normal routines of students, parents and teachers, the comprehensive guide lists out the precautions that must be taken on the campus and beyond. The awareness series is a project of the Health Promotion Department (HPD) at the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in Sharjah has released, in cooperation with Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA). Available in Arabic and English, the booklets are divided into eight sections, ranging from preventive guides for parents and students to getting to know the signs and symptoms associated with Covid-19. A section is dedicated to boosting immunity, and another for healthy student meal recipes and lunch boxes. Readers will also get some tips and advice on how to help safeguard public health during distance learning.
Sniffer dogs are now being used at multiple UAE entry points to detect cases of Covid-19 among travellers, authorities have confirmed. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) said the K9 dogs have been deployed in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah airports, and at the Ghuwaifat border point. The police dogs screen for potentially infected passengers using small scent samples collected through an armpit swab. No direct contact happens between a passenger, dog or its handler, said the ministry. Instead, samples are presented to the dog in specialised medical kits placed in an isolated room and the canine can generally determine “within seconds” whether a person has the virus. Authorities said the initiative is an “additional defence measure” to enhance safety as airports open up and more daily flights land in the country.
A new drive-thru lane for Covid-19 tests has been opened in Abu Dhabi, in front of Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC) at Al Jazira Sports Club in Muroor. Residents and tourists can get tested for Dh180, and there will be no need to book appointments. They will have the option to get results via SMS within 24 to 48 hours. The new drive-thru screening facility is a project of two Mubadala Healthcare facilities, CHSC and the National Reference Laboratory (NRL), which will be processing the tests. Hasan Jasem Al Nowais, senior vice-president at Mubadala Healthcare, said: “While our treatment facilities are now Covid-19 free, we are continuing to support the government in its high-volume testing policy by offering another testing location to ensure convenience and quick, accurate results.
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