Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 1,083 new cases reported; Sharjah lifts all travel restrictions; gaming centres to reopen in Abu Dhabi

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


Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Published: Thu 24 Sep 2020, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Thu 24 Sep 2020, 11:25 AM

Here's a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:
UAE reports 1,083 Covid-19 cases, 970 recoveries, 1 death

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 1,083 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 970 recoveries. One death was also reported. More than 103,100 new Covid-19 tests have been carried out, the ministry said, taking the total to over 9 million. UAE's Covid-19 cases are down 21 per cent in the July-August period, it was announced yesterday. The UAE ranked first in testing its residents for Covid-19 in these two months, a top official said. The country also saw its Covid mortality rate go down by 5.7 per cent. The official UAE government spokesperson, Dr Omar Al Hammadi, said: "August saw more than two million lab tests nationwide (2,018,274) - the eighth highest in the world."
UAE resumes issuing entry permits
The UAE's Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has resumed issuing entry permits, it was announced on Thursday morning. The authority had in March decided to temporarily suspend issuing visas, except to diplomatic passport holders, to curb the spread of Covid-19. The resumption of this service is within the framework of easing restrictions and strengthening the state's efforts towards supporting recovery plans of the country's economy.
Stay safe, stay strong, sustain war on coronavirus

Are we losing this battle against Covid-19? Is this a second wave? These are some of the questions popping up in everyone's minds across the globe as they hope and pray for the pandemic to end but the surge in Covid cases once again doesn't seem to slow down. The UAE on Wednesday witnessed an alarming rise in Covid-19 infections that touched a new high of 1,083, the highest single-day increase recorded in the country. The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention also announced 970 recoveries and a death due to complications caused by the virus. The UAE had recorded its previous single-day high on September 12, when it saw 1,007 Covid-19 infections.
How the UAE prepared for Covid-19 before it struck

When the World Health Organisation (WHO) first reported that a 'potential pandemic' posed a big risk to public health, the UAE's response had been swift, decisive, and multi-faceted. A health official in Abu Dhabi - who is among those leading the war on Covid-19 - recently shared snippets of how the country prepared for the virus before it struck. Matar Al Nuaimi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and director of the Emergency and Disaster Management Division, said the WHO's initial announcement about the novel coronavirus prompted the healthcare sector to mobilise all efforts in preparation for the disease. 
Coronavirus: Sharjah lifts all travel restrictions, opens to tourists
Prior approval is no more needed for Sharjah residents with valid visas to enter the emirate.
Moreover, the emirate has lifted all travel restrictions and tourists are also allowed to enter freely. The move is part of the emirate's efforts to normalise all activities, said the Sharjah Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Committee.
Covid-19 war chief in Abu Dhabi shares how he fought the virus himself

An Abu Dhabi health chief leading the war on the pandemic was a former military man - but when he entered the Covid-19 battlefield, it quickly became the biggest fight of his life. Matar Al Nuaimi, director-general of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre and director of the Emergency and Disaster Management Division, has been mobilising a huge part of the UAE's Covid-19 response. At one point, with his boots on the ground, the virus struck him down, sending him into medical isolation for 20 days. Covid-19 didn't stop him from working, though, he made sure that healthcare teams had the support they needed right from his hospital bed. "It was fate. It was my fate to deal with Covid-19 both professionally and as a patient," said Al Nuaimi, an ex-Staff Colonel in the UAE Armed Forces.

Dubai shoppers can be denied entry to stores if they don't follow safety rules
Shoppers and customers can be barred from entering a store or any establishment if they fail to follow the safety protocols, authorities have said. The Dubai Economy said businesses have the right to refuse entry and deny services to customers who do not commit to the Covid-19 precautionary measures. Traders, however, will have to inform their customers of the measures and procedures, and they must be alerted to the precautions from the moment they enter the business premises. The Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) Sector of the Dubai Economy is continuously monitoring commercial establishments to ensure their commitment to the precautionary measures. 
Dubai shuts down massage centre among 5 businesses for flouting rules

Dubai Municipality authorities shut down one salon in Al Twar and one massage centre in Al Bada'a along with three food establishments on Tuesday for violating Covid-19 safety rules. Cafeteria at International City China Cluster, a restaurant at Al Muraqqabat and another eatery at Vegetable Market at Ras Al Khor were also closed down on Tuesday. The municipality monitors environmental and food health establishments to assess compliance of public safety standards and necessary precautionary measures. During Dubai Municipality's 2,601 inspection visits, 56 violations were reported, 52 were issued warnings while 2,488 institutions were found to comply with Covid-19 safety rules. 
Abu Dhabi outlines norms for entertainment, gaming centres

Entertainment centres and gaming halls in Abu Dhabi will be allowed to reopen at 60 per cent capacity, local authorities said on Wednesday. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) issued fresh guidelines that must be implemented ahead of the reopening. Besides the capacity limit that was in line with the protocols set for all outlets at shopping malls, other stringent safety rules apply. Ball pits can be opened only at 30 per cent capacity and must be disinfected every hour. All rides and machines, as well as ropes, belts, helmets and knee pads, should also be sterilised after every use. Staff members must be screened for Covid-19 and allowed to work only after obtaining a negative result.  
Ras Al Khaimah bans camps to curb Covid spread

During its meeting, chaired by Major General Ali Abdullah bin Alwan Al Nuaimi, Commander-in-Chief of the Ras Al Khaimah Police, the Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Team of Ras Al Khaimah recommended a halt to the establishment of ranches (camps) in wildlife reserves, in light of the precautionary measures to limit the spread of coronavirus, Covid-19. The team's recommendation aims to reduce the spread of coronavirus and protect the public's safety and health, in light of significant public demand for the establishment of ranches and temporary campsites due to the pleasant weather.

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