Coronavirus news bulletin: UAE reports 541 Covid cases; 293,000 workers repatriated; Emirates gets $2b injection
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 541 Covid-19 cases, 331 recoveries, 2 deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Monday reported 541 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 331 recoveries. Two deaths were also recorded. More than 82,000 new Covid-19 tests were carried out in the country, the ministry added. The UAE has conducted more than seven million Covid-19 tests so far. Meanwhile, it was revealed that the first Phase lll trials of an inactivated vaccine for Covid-19 in the UAE are among the largest in the world in volunteer recruitment, having reached 31,000 vaccinated volunteers from more than 120 nationalities in only six weeks. The speed and efficiency of volunteer registration, screening and vaccination is setting new global benchmarks for the 4Humanity trials of the inactivated vaccine developed by Sinopharm CNBG.
Emirates gets $2 billion injection from Dubai govt
Dubai's flagship airline Emirates has received Dh7.3 billion ($2 billion) from the emirate's government as it faces a cash crunch caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, a bond prospectus seen by Reuters shows. Industry insiders and aviation sources said the airline's business model received a severe setback due to the slump in travel demand in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The airline was left with no choice but to ground its fleet comprising Airbus A380s and Boeing 777s as its long-haul travel suffered a major hit and is expected to be the slowest to recover from the crisis. The government provided Dh7.3 billion to the airline it owns after Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council in March promised equity to Emirates to see it through the crisis, the prospectus shows.
Now with 31,000 volunteers, Covid-19 vaccine trials closed for new registrations
In just six weeks, 31,000 have volunteered for the UAE's Covid-19 vaccine clinical trials, making it among the largest in the world in terms of volunteer recruitment. Health authorities have confirmed that they have reached a sufficient number of volunteers to complete the trial, so new registrations are no longer accepted. Vaccine centres at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre and Al Qarain Centre in Sharjah are now closed to new volunteers. However, they remain open to individuals taking their second shot and for other health check-ups required as part of the 4Humanity programme. Thousands of volunteers have already received their second dose of the vaccine and will continue to undergo regular monitoring and health checks.
UAE nurseries may reopen on October 4, with strict safety measures
Nurseries in the UAE may resume their operations in October, provided that they abide by regulations and implement all reopening conditions. October 4 had been set as the tentative date for reopening, according to a joint circular issued by education authorities across the country. It was stamped by the Ministry of Education (MoE), the Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) and Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA). The circular that was shared with all nurseries stated: "It has been decided to reopen nurseries on the fourth of October 2020 in accordance with strict control and preventive measures aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19)."
17,000 nursery staff to be trained ahead of reopening in Abu Dhabi
The Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority has launched a training programme targeting about 17,000 teachers and other administrative staff across the country as they prepare for reopening of nurseries. The training programme, titled 'Improving today for a better tomorrow', aims to ensure that nurseries are ready to receive children by training and qualifying nursery managers, teachers and teaching assistants to develop their capabilities and skills through 100 specialised sessions to support nurseries post Covid-19, said authorities. As part of its 'Takween' summer programme, the training plan is being conducted in coordination with the Ministry of Education (MoE) students, Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), the Sharjah Education Council, the Sharjah Special Education Authority, and the Abu Dhabi Centre for Public Health.
Abu Dhabi repatriated 293,000 workers since March
Authorities in Abu Dhabi have helped repatriate over 293,000 workers to their home countries since March 2020. This was done after making sure the workers had received all their dues and were Covid-free. More than 1.3 million workers benefited from assistance offered by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis & Disasters Committee for the Covid-19 Pandemic. This includes covering the costs of Covid-19 screening for workers and all those living in workers' complexes and industrial cities; providing free medical treatment to infected workers; coordinating with entities to facilitate and accelerate all legal procedures related to workers' rights; and negotiating with third parties to cover any overdue payments for companies, enabling them to pay their workers' wages.
Dubai-based salon owner puts leisure aside to keep customers safe
The beauty and grooming industry may have been badly hit by the pandemic - but Julie George was determined to get back up and bring her salons back in business. With her strong commitment to her customers and staff, she has not stepped outside for leisure for five months now. George, a longtime Dubai resident and founder of Glitz Beauty Centre, said her business is now swiftly recovering, thanks to the stringent sanitation protocols, which sometimes came at a cost of personal sacrifices. "I have two branches in Barsha, Dubai. I started this business in 2004. I've always had a passion for the beauty industry. Even when I was in India, I used to run my own spa and beauty centre."
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