Covid-19 news bulletin from UAE: 300 new cases reported; paid leave for select staff; Dubai Police to reveal violators' photos
A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.
Here's a round-up of all the latest developments you need to be aware of:
UAE announces 300 new cases of coronavirus
The UAE has confirmed 300 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, bringing the total number of infected persons in the country to 2,659 as of Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention said. Dr. Farida Al Hosani, the official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, said 53 patients have made a full recovery, taking the total to 239.
The UAE has conducted 539,195 coronavirus tests in the country so far. Responding to a questions on the use of monitoring patients in home quarantine, Dr. Al Hosani said the UAE has started using the application 'Stay Home' to monitor people in home quarantine. "We urge people in the UAE to make use of the app," she said.
The UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, adopted a resolution to grant paid leave to select categories of employees at the Federal Government.
The resolution stipulates that married employees of the Federal Government may take fully paid leave to take care of their children below the age of 16. The age condition shall not apply to people of determination, as well as in cases where a spouse is subject to self-isolation or quarantine that requires no contact with family members.
More than half million coronavirus tests have been conducted in the UAE, according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention. According to the official, the UAE has conducted 539,195 coronavirus tests across the emirates. The increased scale in testing across the country is due to the introduction of new drive-through testing facilities that have been opened in Abu Dhabi and other emirates. The facilities can diagnose hundreds of people daily and without having direct contact with health workers.
Responding to a question on monitoring patients in home quarantine, Dr Al Hosani said the UAE has started using the application StayHome to monitor people in home quarantine. "We urge people in Abu Dhabi to download the app and make use of it," she said.
"Preparations are ongoing to have drive-through testing centres in all emirates. Priority at the facilities is given to the elderly, disabled and those with respiratory conditions," she said, adding that people should wear masks while at the testing centres.
Ajman Crown Prince announces new package of economic incentives
Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, Crown Prince of Ajman and Chairman of the Executive Council, announced on Wednesday a directive to support foreign trade, customs, tourism and real estate and other economic establishments with a set of urgent measures, as part of a second package of economic incentives.Sheikh Ammar stressed that the Ajman Government is working to support the local community, which includes individuals, business leaders and investors, by implementing preventative measures to tackle the repercussions of the current Covid-19 crisis; ensure the security and stability of the community and create opportunities for growth and progress under the most difficult circumstances.
Dubai Police to name, shame #StayHome rule violators
The Dubai police will name and shame violators of the Stay Home initiative launched to fight the spread of Covid-19, a top cop has said.
Col Saeed Al Hajeri, Director of the Cyber Crime Department, said photos of offenders will be published to deter others from flouting the rules that can endanger the lives of others as well as themselves. The officer said the photos will be published without blurring the faces so that "they will face implications".
In a radio interview to Dubai Eye 103.8 on Wednesday, Col Al Hajeri said while the government is going the extra mile to fight the contagion and keep the country safe, socially irresponsible behaviour would not be tolerated. Harsh measures are required as people are not adhering to rules and regulations of quarantine and social distancing.
He said people who get 'named and shamed' might not get hired for a job because of their irresponsible behaviour. "We have been catching these people. But so far, we did not publish their photos due to their privacy or their future. But this will have severe implications in their life." "Visiting healthcare facility unnecessarily will subject you to Dh1,000 fine. Leaving home for unnecessary reasons will bring a fine of Dh2,000."
Expat held for mocking authorities
The Dubai Police have arrested yet another man for posting a video in which he allegedly mocked the authorities. The police said on Instagram that the Asian man posted a video of a government building and added sounds of "wolves howling" to mock the authorities.
The police also posted his photo without blurring his face.
This is the second time the police have arrested a man and posted his photo without blurring his face. On Tuesday, a man who filmed a policeman doing his job and later "added emojis for mocking and ridiculing" him before posting it on social media was arrested.å
No movement permit required in Abu Dhabi for essential purposes
Abu Dhabi residents have been advised to stay home during the hours specified for the sterilisation programme. "However, urgent and critical access to pharmacies, supermarkets and similar retail is allowed during these hours, without the prerequisite of a permit," Abu Dhabi Media Office said in a tweet. Abu Dhabi authorities on Monday announced that the sterilisation programme in the Capital will be from 8pm to 6am in residential areas and 6pm to 6am in industrial zones and workers accommodations. Officials said people should stay home and support the government's fight against the pandemic. A person caught leaving home for unnecessarily during the restricted period except for emergency or vital work or for buying necessities faces a fine of Dh2,000.
Dubai-based philanthropist donates Dh22m to help fight virus
As Pakistan steps up its fight against the novel coronavirus (Covid-19), Dubai's resident philanthropist, Hussain Dawood, has pledged a contribution in services, kind and cash of Dh22 million on behalf of his family and the flagship entities of Dawood Hercules Group (DH Group) of which he is chairman, including Dawood Hercules Corporation, Engro Corporation, The Dawood Foundation and Karachi School of Business & Leadership. Commenting on the donation Mr. Dawood said: "We as a family and as a Group are committed to playing our part in helping solve the most pressing issues of our time and are donating to Pakistan to help the country overcome this pandemic. I pray that this aids the relief efforts and helps to reverse the tide of this pandemic."
A United Arab Emirates aid plane carrying approximately 13 tonnes of medical supplies was dispatched to Kazakhstan to assist the country in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, benefitting over 10,000 healthcare professionals. This initiative is part of the UAE's commitment to cooperating with countries working to combat the Covid-19 outbreak in order to bolster global efforts to curb the virus' spread. "The UAE is committed to extending support to countries affected by the Covid-19 crisis in recognition that multilateral cooperation is essential to the international community overcoming this humanitarian crisis," said Dr. Mohammed Ahmed bin Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Kazakhstan.
'Italy moved by UAE gesture during pandemic,' says Italian envoy
The Italian envoy to Abu Dhabi has said that Italy's government and people were "moved" by the sympathy and compassion shown by the UAE during the coronavirus pandemic. In a statement to the Emirates News Agency, Wam, Ambassador Nicola Lener said that Italy was "deeply impressed" by the UAE initiative that saw the shipment of 10 tonnes of medical supplies to help Italian medics tackle Covid-19."This is true only for our Government, which expressed its gratitude in a call between the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Luigi Di Maio, and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; but also to the Italian people, including the numerous Italian citizens living in the UAE, who were moved by the sympathy and the compassion shown by the UAE in this very difficult moment," Lener added.
Well known Dubai presenter Richard Coram dies of coronavirus in UK
Former mediaperson Richard Coram, who was popular through his radio shows and news anchoring in Dubai-based media, died of Covid-19 in the UK. UAE residents mourned the sad news that sent shock waves among all, especially who watched or heard him in their growing-up years or knew him professionally during the 1980s. Barely in his late 50s, the long-term Gulf resident and former radio show host on Dubai FM92, was also a celebrated news reader on the city's popular Channel 33. Old-timers in the UAE are deeply saddened as they recall their interaction with this media legend - a "presenter par excellence".
Marriage, divorce suspended in Dubai
Marriages and divorces in Dubai have been suspended until further notice to avoid gatherings that could spread the Covid-19 coronavirus. Dubai's justice department said on Wednesday that the decision was among the measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic in the emirate. Justice Khaled Al Hawsni of the family court also said on the department's website that couples who have already completed marriage formalities must not organise wedding parties "even among their immediate circles". The UAE has recorded 2,659 cases of the coronavirus as on Wednesday, as well as 12 deaths.
100 days of Covid-19: Residents revisit the past with optimism
April 8 marks the 100 days since the World Health Organisation (WHO) received the first report of an unknown illness affecting a number of people falling ill in Wuhan, China. A disease that's spread to nearly every country on the planet, as life almost came to a pause. Most people alive today have not experienced a crisis so large, so worldwide, so scary, in our lifetime. As the world buckled under the virus, governments have shown its readiness to improvise on how to deal with the health related issues, from arresting the community transmission of the virus, to finding effective care and cure for the disease. As we introspect the past 100 days, residents are grateful and proud of the UAE government's passion, dedication and resilience with which they are engaged in safeguarding its people on a war footing.
UAE Federal Customs Authority adopts integrated strategy
The UAE Customs Sector has successfully implemented an integrated strategy to cope with the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.The strategy aims to protect society and the customs workforce in border ports and key centres, and secure basic community needs. The strategy, adopted by the UAE Federal Customs Authority and local customs departments, features eight key pillars: completing customs transactions easily and simply, while taking precautionary arrangements and actions; conducting customs clearance transactions via smart applications; intensifying control over imported shipments; and taking security and safety steps to ensure shipments admitted to the country are virus-free and intact.
Consulate provides food supplies to 22 Indian workers stranded in Sharjah
Following a distress call, a group of 22 stranded Indian workers, who were seeking employment in Sharjah, were provided with food provisions by the Consulate General of India on Tuesday, April 7. The men have valid visit visas and were brought to the UAE by fraudulent employment agents in early March, Consulate officials told Khaleej Times. The Consulate arranged food supplies for the 22 Indian workers, following a distress call on Twitter. The men, abandoned by their agents, could not find jobs due to the global pandemic and had very little access to food and other supplies.
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