Coronavirus bulletin from UAE: Zero cases in two Dubai areas; 536 new cases confirmed; More malls in Dubai open; Pregnant visitor stuck in Dubai

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coronavirus, covid19 in uae, dubai, al ras, naif

Abu Dhabi - A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.

by

Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Mon 27 Apr 2020, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Mon 27 Apr 2020, 10:48 AM

Here's a round-up of all the latest developments you need to be aware of:
Dubai lifts 24-hr movement restrictions in Naif, Al Ras
The Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, headed by Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, announced the easing of restrictions on movement in Naif and Al Ras areas in Dubai. Public movement in these areas will return to normal between 6.00 am and 10.00 pm and restrictions will be in place only between 10.00 pm and 6.00 am as with the rest of the emirate. The Committee's decision to reduce the 24-hour controls on movement follows the success of efforts to combat Covid-19. According to the Committee, no new Covid-19 cases were recorded in the last two days in Naif and Al Ras. More than 6,000 tests were conducted among residents in the areas in less than a month. The achievement was the result of the combined efforts of all teams involved in the comprehensive sterilisation programme. Comprehensive monitoring and isolation of suspected cases played a critical role in controlling the spread of the virus.
 
UAE airlines receive requests for refund, rebooking and inquiries
The UAE's carriers have received more than 670,000 requests for refunds, ticket cancellations and inquiries since their aircraft were grounded because of international travel restrictions amid the coronavirus outbreak. Emirates, the largest international airline, on Sunday, April 26, said it has nearly 500,000 refund requests pending and, now, refund procedures have been ramped up. Prior to the outbreak, the airline has processed an average of 35,000 refund requests in a month. Now, it is gearing up to handle 150,000 per month and aims to clear its current backlog by early August. Since regular flights are not operational, the UAE carriers are offering passengers to either extend their tickets, get cash refund, or secure vouchers, which can be redeemed later to purchase tickets. The validity of these tickets and refunds range between six to 24 months.
UAE confirms 536 new cases, 91 recoveries
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday announced 536 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus. It also announced 91 recoveries and five deaths. The total number of cases in the UAE now stands at 10,349, and the total death toll at 76. The ministry also announced that more than 35,000 new Covid-19 tests have been conducted. Overall, the UAE has so far conducted over one million coronavirus tests as it ramps up its efforts to identify cases at the earliest.
No new Covid-19 cases recorded in Dubai's Naif area
The government's quick response to combating the Covid-19 coronavirus in Dubai's Naif area, including weeks of heightened restrictions, has hugely helped to contain the spread of coronavirus, said a member of the Federal National Council (FNC). Dherar Belhoul Al Falasi, who is also a board member of the Watani Emirates Foundation which oversees the volunteering teams helping government in the fight against Covid-19, on Sunday told Khaleej Times that no new coronavirus cases have been reported in Naif area over the past few days. This is a clear indication that people are adhering to the precautionary measures put in place by health authorities and that government's efforts were working out well, he added. "The Dubai's Crisis and Disaster Management committee had acted swiftly to put in place measures, including the 24-hour curfew in Naif area to combat the spread of the virus, otherwise the situation would have been disastrous," said Al Falasi.
Bodies of three Indian expats repatriated from Abu Dhabi again
The dead bodies of three Indian expats, which were returned from New Delhi on Friday, have been flown out from Abu Dhabi on Sunday evening. Family members, who have been following up each development closely, expressed relief as the mortal remains of their dear ones could be finally taken to their native places for the last rites. Bodies were repatriated from Abu Dhabi International Airport to Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi. Mortal remains of Jagsir Singh and Sanjeev Kumar will be taken to Punjab, and that of Kamlesh Bhatt to Uttarakhand.
 
Commuters relieved as Dubai Metro services reinstated
Dubai Metro riders are relieved to see the trains back on track as the city's major public transport service resumed operations today. This comes after the partial lifting of movement restrictions, which were put in place to help curb the spread of Covid-19. Metro services had been suspended after April 4. The first day of Metro reopening saw commuters adhering to safety guidelines to combat the spread of the virus, following signs posted all around. Mohammad Saad - who boarded the train from Abu Baker Al Siddique Metro Station to go to his office in Burjuman - said social distancing norms were being strictly implemented at all entry points of the stations.
 
Pregnant visitor stuck in Dubai desperate to return home
An Indian expat and his nearly eight-month pregnant wife, visiting her husband in the UAE, are hoping that the government introduces special repatriation flights at the earliest, amid the Covid-19 restrictions. Mohammed Mosanna Khan, who had called his mother and wife to the UAE after his father's death, is now feeling helpless and desperate. His 24-year-old wife on a visit visa and due to deliver around June 15 is unable to travel back home. Mohammed's pregnant wife was looking to leave for New Delhi initially on March 28. Later, they received an intimation from the airlines that the confirmed ticket had been cancelled.
 
Electric golf carts at Abu Dhabi health testing facilities
Ma'an's 'Together We Are Good' programme has delivered eight rented electric golf carts, using financial contributions it received, to four new coronavirus, Covid-19, test centres across Abu Dhabi and Al Ain. The Authority of Social Contribution, Ma'an, extended this support when Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, requested Ma'an to equip first responders and healthcare workers with vital resources to help facilitate easier movement within the testing centres. Ma'an was able to map their requirements and match them to deliver the carts to the sites, said a press release issued by Ma'an on Sunday.
 
Over 58 UAE studies seek to develop Covid-19 treatment, faster tests
More than 58 studies are being conducted in the UAE to understand the nature of Covid-19 and develop innovative treatments, as well as diagnostic devices and medical tools, a top official said. Dr Alawi Al Sheikh, spokesperson for the advanced science sector, said: "These studies are looking into ways of simulating the spread of the disease and the movement of patients and the psychological and health impact of the virus on society." Here are some of the key research that the UAE's scientific community is working on. The Covid-19 genome sequencing conducted by the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) is one that will help scientists understand how the infection spreads, Dr Al Sheikh said.
 
Traffic patrols stop entry, exit of workers in Dubai
Traffic patrols from Dubai Police are stationed at the Sheikh Zayed Road, in order to prevent the entry and exit of contracting company workers from Abu Dhabi to Dubai and the other way round too. This particular move aims to restrict the movement of people within the emirate of Dubai and prevent the entry of workers not residing in the emirate. The Dubai Municipality on April 14, issued a circular restricting the movement of workers to other emirates. "In compliance with Dubai Municipality's ongoing goal towards the public health and safety of all sectors of the community, especially in the current climate that requires the social cooperation and adherence to the preemptive medical guidelines issued from the official public health authorities, measures must be taken," the municipality said.
 
5 eateries shut for flouting measures in UAE
Five restaurants have been shut down by the the department of economic development for not adhering to precautionary measures put in place to stymie the spread of Covid-19. Faisal Alyoon, manager, control and trade protection department, said they have recently issued a number of circulars to ensure public safety against the global pandemic. "The erring eateries, detected during surprise inspections, were found to have received customers inside the restaurants despite repeated warnings." All restaurants have been warned against receiving customers inside, he added. "Only external orders and deliveries are permitted." Staff workers in the reported eateries also didn't wear facemasks and hand gloves as instructed, he pointed out.
 
579 UAE trials conducted via video conferences
As many as 579 trials have already been done via video-conferences in Abu Dhabi, authorities said on Sunday. The remote trial system is now 100 per cent available to litigants at Abu Dhabi courts. The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD) said the e-system was put in place as part of efforts to ensure continuity while protecting employees and customers amid the current Covid-19 situation.
More malls reopen in Dubai
Nakheeel Malls has been gearing up to reopen Nakheel Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart and other destinations across Dubai. The announcement regarding the same has been put across on the official Twitter account of Dubai Media Office. Malls in Dubai partially opened on Saturday, April 25, after a month, strictly implementing guidelines and precautionary measures issued by local authorities. Mall operators had earlier said measures put in place against coronavirus to ensure the safety of employees and visitors 'worked very well' on the first day. Mall of the Emirates, Deira City Centre, and Mirdif City Centre also announced partial reopening and will operate from 12pm to 10pm. However, leisure and entertainment outlets, changing rooms, prayer rooms, and cinemas will remain temporarily closed. Carrefour hypermarket will continue operating from 9am to 10pm daily.
 
Private companies contribute to Dubai's fund for Covid-19
Private sector companies in Dubai are continuing to show their commitment to supporting the Community Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19. Their contributions have ranged from financial to logistical aid including medical, electronic and other crucial supplies aimed at mitigating the effects of the outbreak. In the latest contribution to the Community Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19 launched by the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, Intercoil International, Al Rams Trading Company and PAN Emirates made donations to support people affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. Intercoil International donated 400 beds for free and has offered discounts on mattresses. Meanwhile, Al Rams Trading Company donated 250 fridges and Pan Emirates donated beds and sofas for use in buildings dedicated to the care of Covid-19 patients.
UAE's Mars Hope Probe on its way amid Covid-19 pandemic
The UAE Space Agency and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced the successful completion of the Hope probe's transfer to its launch site at the space station on Tanegashima Island in Japan, despite the Covid-19 pandemic challenges presented. Dr. Ahmed bin Abdullah Hamid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency confirmed that with the successful completion of the transfer of the Hope probe from Dubai to Japan, the UAE is sending a positive message to the world by moving forward with the Emirates Mars Mission, as planned previously, despite the challenges resulting from the global coronavirus pandemic.



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