Coronavirus news bulletin: UAE police warn job seekers; Covid test must for students; 8 shisha cafes shut for violations
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 225 Covid-19 cases, 323 recoveries, 1 death
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday reported 225 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 323 recoveries. One new death was also reported. More than 61,000 new Covid-19 tests have been carried out, the ministry added. In a statement, the ministry has once again affirmed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment, and nearly 5.5 million tests have been carried out so far. Meanwhile, the world's first Phase III trials of a vaccine for Covid-19 being held in the UAE have reached a major milestone as over 5,000 volunteers have now received their first vaccination.
Four new Dh50 Covid-19 test centres open in UAE, two of them in Dubai
Four new rapid Covid-19 testing facilities have been opened in Dubai, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah that will perform laser tests for residents looking to enter Abu Dhabi. The UAE's capital requires a Covid-negative test result for residents and visitors to enter. The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) on Sunday announced that the new centres, including two in Dubai's Rashid Port and Al Khawaneej area, conduct tests using a DPI laser-based technology that produces results within five minutes. Four such centres are operational in Abu Dhabi. Those wishing to get themselves tested will need to make an appointment through Seha's phone app. According to officials, only those who test negative for Covid-19 are given the result that allows them to enter Abu Dhabi within 48 hours from the time of testing.
133 Dubai shisha cafes fined, 8 shut for violating Covid rules
About 133 shisha cafes in Dubai were fined and eight others ordered shut after municipal inspectors spotted several violations related to Covid-19 precautionary guidelines. Other violations included using expired tobacco products and allowing those aged under 18 years inside smoking areas. Dubai had allowed shisha cafes to reopen from July 18 after months of closure as a precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus. The Dubai Municipality had laid out stringent measures for the cafes to follow so as to keep patrons safe. The civic body said it had conducted 1,228 inspection visits. About 88 per cent of the cafes were found to be in compliance with the safety measures. Some cafes failed to ensure physical distancing, with inspectors finding crowds inside and no distance between tables.
Free therapy helps recovered Covid-19 patients return to normal routines
Quick diagnosis and supportive care are some of the factors that have helped the UAE see a steady rise in the number of its Covid-19 recoveries, which have reached over 90 per cent of total cases. Some hospitals are taking the treatment beyond recovery, supporting patients through wellness programmes and rehabilitation therapies that can help them return to their normal life. According to the World Health Organisation, in severe cases of Covid-19, the patient is left weak and dependent on assistance of others to complete basic tasks, such as washing, dressing up, and walking. A free-of-cost rehabilitation programme has been launched for Covid-19 patients in Ras Al Khaimah. This programme by RAK Hospital comprises physician consultations, diet advice, psychological support and physical therapy.
Covid-19 tests must for Sharjah students before campus return
All students, teachers and staff of private schools in Sharjah must test negative for Covid-19 before in-person classes begin in the new term. This is among the several guidelines spelt out by the Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) for reopening schools from August 30. A copy of the circular that Khaleej times has seen states: "In collaboration with the health authorities in Sharjah, all students, teachers and staff of all private schools will be tested for Covid-19 (ahead of ) ... of physically joining the school. This very important initiative - which is undertaken by the UAE Government to ensure the safety of students (and) school staff - might continue at different times during the reminder of the academic year in which regular testing of students, teachers and other staff members will be conducted."
Covid-19 test, 96-hour visa must for sailors to enter UAE
Crew changes are now allowed across the UAE's ports and waters, provided that strict safety measures are observed, the Federal Transport Authority for Land and Maritime has announced. Under the new protocol for the maritime sector, the authority said seafarers would need to obtain a 96-hour entry visa and undertake Covid-19 tests to enter the country. "The shipping agent should bear the responsibility to return the seafarer to his ship or provide a safe medical shelter if the Covid test was positive, in accordance with the instructions imposed by the health authorities in the UAE," the authority said in a notice sent to firms. Pre-registration of the crew members' itinerary - whether to join ships or return home - and self-monitoring of the traveller's health are mandatory, it added.
School heads in UAE confident 'secure bubbles' on campus will help fight virus spread
With less than a month to go before the reopening of campuses, school heads in the UAE are confident that the strict measures in place will help keep students safe. Smaller classes and 'secure bubbles', in particular, will prevent Covid-19 transmission, they said. Secure bubbles are where students will study and work only with members of the same group all throughout their classes. They will not change groups or mingle with others, school leaders explained. Annie Mathew, principal of Gulf Model School, said: "In our blended model of learning, along with all other protocols, one of the strategies we have adopted is to maintain 'stable groups' of students in each class by continuing with distance learning for all optional subjects. This will prevent students from intermingling and will make 'contact tracing' easier, if need be."
UAE police warn job seekers amid Covid-19
Fraudsters are looming job seekers with fake employment offers online, authorities have warned. The Abu Dhabi Police on Sunday said bogus recruitment agents are promising jobs at reputable companies to collect money and cheat those in desperate situations. "Fraudsters who advertise non-existent jobs on social media and fake websites are taking advantage of the current Covid-19 situation where many people have lost their jobs," said the police. "The scammers, disguising themselves as recruitment agents, advertise jobs online claiming that they are recruiting for certain firms looking for workers," said officers. "Job seekers realise they were conned after not being able to secure jobs despite paying the agent's commission fees.
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