Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 387 new cases; gatherings still banned, hefty fine, jail for violators; Dubai ready to welcome visitors Filed on June 28, 2020
UAE, covid fines, uae law, restrictions, fine, coronavirus

(Photo: M. Sajjad/KT)

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:

Gatherings still banned in UAE; fines announced for violations

Authorities in the UAE have observed an increase in the number of violations of Covid-19 precautionary measures after the night-time movement restrictions were lifted, a top official has said. This includes failure to wear masks, hosting gatherings and non-adherence to social distancing guidelines. Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief of prosecution of the Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee at the Federal Public Prosecution, said: "Following the completion of the National Sterilisation Programme, unfortunately we noticed an increase in violations of safety and health instructions put in place by the UAE Government to curb the spread of Covid-19." Last week, authorities announced lifting all movement restrictions, letting residents step out of their homes at any time of the day. Earlier, they were required to stay in between 11pm and 6am in Dubai and 10pm and 6am in all other emirates.

UAE reports 387 new Covid-19 cases, 365 recoveries

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 387 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 365 new recoveries. This brings the total number of cases to 47,360 and the total recoveries to 35,834. The authority also announced one death as a result of the illness, bringing the total number of deaths to 311 in the country. The authorities have reaffirmed wearing masks as absolutely mandatory ,everywhere whenever that people step out of their homes and all citizens and residents have been asked to fully comply and adhere to all safety measures implemented by the same. "Criminal prosecutions have been announced for violators, including a six-month incarceration and/or minimum fine of Dh 100,000 for repeat violators", Salem Al Zaabi, Acting Director of the Federal Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Prosecution said.

'UAE's wise leadership the reason for success in fighting coronavirus'

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) said that under the wise leadership and directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Abu Dhabi's healthcare sector has excelled itself in combating the coronavirus. He said this ultimately ensures the health and safety of every individual across the emirate. "The efforts of our wise leadership is the reason behind the successes we have had thus far in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic. The Department of Health - Abu Dhabi is determined to continue its efforts in ensuring the health and safety of all individuals in the emirate," Al Hamed added. Al Hamed highlighted the support of Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office and Member of the Executive Council, who has been kept abreast of all the developments and initiatives related to Covid-19.

Gyms, billiards centres, yoga joints to reopen in Abu Dhabi

Gyms in Abu Dhabi can operate for 24 hours from July 1, provided patrons and staff adhere to guidelines and precautionary measures to spread the curb of Covid-19. The Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Saturday that this marks the second phase of resumption of individual indoor sporting activities. Other sporting activities that may resume include fitness, body building, billiards and snooker, yoga and bowling centres. "Guidelines for trainers and technical staff include undergoing Covid-19 testing before resuming activities, wearing masks and gloves at all times and changing them frequently," the media office tweeted. Facilities must have soaps, hand sanitisers and gel for hand washing. Showers, saunas, changing rooms and prayer rooms will remain closed. "A room must be designated to isolate suspected cases, and thermal checkup devices must be installed at entrances," the media office said. Staff must also sterilise sports equipment before use and every hour; maintain physical distancing; and sterilise surfaces every two hours.

Full list of updated fines for violating Covid-19 measures in UAE

An updated list of fines and penalties for violating Covid-19 precautionary measures announced last month remains in force across the UAE, a top official warned on Saturday. This came as authorities observed an increase in the number of violations after the night-time movement restrictions were lifted. Salem Al Zaabi, acting chief of prosecution of the Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee at the Federal Public Prosecution, said: "The fine will be doubled for those found repeating the violation. Third-time offenders could face up to six months in jail and/or a minimum fine of Dh100,000." Here is the updated list of fines and penalties that was announced on May 19. For individuals, families, communities:- Hosting gatherings and inviting people over: Dh10,000- Attending a gathering as a guest: Dh5,000- Having more than three passengers in a vehicle: Dh3,000- Private tutors violating rules: Dh30,000 (and Dh20,000 for whoever hosts the tutor)- Failure to maintain social distancing at work or other places like shops and restaurants: Dh3,000 per person involved, Dh5,000 for institutions

All hospitals in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafrah are Covid-free

All hospitals in Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafrah region are now free of Covid-19 cases. The emirate's media office tweeted on Saturday that the hospitals continue to provide "specialised and full healthcare services to patients".The media office attributed the achievement to the "consistent efforts of the healthcare sector". It said mass testing for Covid-19 as part of the National Screening Programme has helped "drastically reduce the number of cases requiring medical care". The Covid-free healthcare facilities in Al Dhafra are: Madinat Zayed, Ghayathi, Dalma, Al Sila, Al Marfa, Liwa and Ruwais hospitals. This is the latest in a series of Covid-free hospitals announced in Abu Dhabi. On Friday, Abu Dhabi's Department of Health announced that Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City and Al Ain's Tawam Hospital had discharged their last Covid-19 patients.

Dubai ready to welcome visitors

Dubai expects to first start receiving tourists from those countries which are already open or opening for tourism and where people are returning to their normal life, said a senior official. "Over the last three weeks, we have seen people in many countries returning to their normal way of living - going back to work, while some schools are also opening in some places. We have seen a bit of shift in countries like Germany, Spain, France and Greece. Many of these destinations are either open or opening for tourism market. We expect to start first with the countries that are ready. Although, there are going to be challenges ahead of us, we have great confidence in the tourism sector and Dubai," said Helal Saeed Almarri, director-general of Dubai Tourism. Airports in Dubai will welcome tourists from July 7, following over three months of restrictions on international travel in order to contain the spread of Covid-19 pandemic in the country. Even though a few countries have opened up their tourism sectors, others still have restrictions in place for tourists.

German globetrotter in UAE shares travel tales of 28 countries

It's safe for women to travel alone, a German globetrotter found out after covering 28 countries and 50,000km in her caravan with her pet dog. Jasmin Lorenz, 34, ran a successful cosmetics store for a decade in Farchant, a village in Bavaria. And then, the lone child of her parents gave up her business to discover life in real colours. "I had everything in my life but deep inside me, I was not happy. So, I decided to do something special, be free and see real life. It took me two years to decide on giving up all that I had built in the last 10 years. It was a big decision but my parents supported me," she said from her caravan in Abu Dhabi, where she is stuck since March. Jasmin is an overlander from May to September of 2018, and May 2019 till date, and has covered most countries of Europe, Middle East and some from Asia.

STEM skills must to excel in post-Covid world, say UAE female engineers

Education and science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills are more important than ever in a post-Covid-19 world. Emirati female STEM graduates feel it is a critical factor that will help them excel in their careers. Companies will now increasingly look to hire those who are able to learn and adapt to different environments and situations, said Hala Alzargani, the first female Emirati engineer at the US aerospace and defence firm Lockheed Martin. "Future jobs and careers are going to rely heavily on diverse skill sets such as critical and analytical thinking, adaptability, collaboration and problem-solving. STEM subjects teach students to think logically, work methodically, and address complex problems from different angles. I believe a strong foundation in STEM prepares students for the jobs of tomorrow," said Alzargani, lead project engineer at Lockheed Martin's Centre for Innovation and Security Solutions (CISS) in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.

Universities in Dubai detail safety measures ahead of opening in September

Universities in Dubai are gearing up to open their campuses in September, after the holidays. They have begun devising safety protocols to ensure wellbeing of their pupils, who will return to campus in September. "With the recent announcement that universities may reopen for the fall, provided they comply with specific protocols, we are now tasked with submitting a proposal that addresses all the health and safety measures set forth by the authorities," said Dr David A Schmidt, president of American University in Dubai (AUD). Universities will also be distributing quality face masks and even adapting door handles to upgrade safety measures. "We are installing desk guards, social distancing signage, adapted door handles, one-way internal movement systems and sanitising dispensers throughout the campus. The use of electronic processes will eliminate the exchange of paper or other forms of contact," said Dr Cedwyn Fernandes, pro-vice-chancellor and director of Middlesex University Dubai.

Pakistan completes 'largest ever' repatriation from UAE

Pakistan has completed its repatriation of stranded citizens in the UAE and, now, people can fly back to the country on regular flights, an envoy said on Saturday. Ahmed Amjad Ali, consul-general of the Pakistan Consulate in Dubai, said it was the largest repatriation programme carried out in the country's history, with up to 90 per cent of stranded Pakistanis flown home from the UAE since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.  More than 60,000 Pakistanis were stranded in the UAE. Some lost their jobs while others were on visit visas and couldn't fly back when international flights were suspended.  Out of this total, 55,000 to 60,000 people from Dubai and Abu Dhabi have been sent back on PIA flights and those operated by UAE carriers, Ali said. The consul-general also pointed out that the consulate is set to resume services, such as passport and ID renewal and visa issuance, from July 1. Intensive sterilisation will be carried out in the facility over the next few days.

59 flights to be operated in July as Vande Bharat Mission enters Phase 4

Fifty-nine repatriation flights for stranded Indians in the UAE will be operated in July as the Vande Bharat Mission enters Phase 4. More private chartered flights will also be sanctioned to meet the demand from the Gulf region, the Indian government has said. Operations between July 1 and 14 include 39 special flights to four airports in the state of Kerala and 20 for the rest of India. New Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka are the destinations covered apart from Kerala.

Workers in UAE praise government's systematic Covid-19 response

Workers in the industrial area of Mussafah are relieved and heaping lavish praises on the government authorities for their incredible effort after the Covid-19 screening and testing drive was successfully completed. Labourers, including visa violators, have been tested for free at the various screening centres run by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha). The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee, teaming up with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development and the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, implemented programmes to ensure the protection of workers' rights, their health and safety during the pandemic. Inam Ullah, a tailor, lauded the Abu Dhabi Government for its well-coordinated and systematic response to stymie the spread of the virus. "We feel safe now but will remain alert. The leadership protected citizens and residents equally. Now, we feel more committed to the UAE than before."

After e-learning, summer camps for in UAE kids go online

Summer holidays are here and with Covid-19 threat still looming large, a number of schools, institutes and organistions have planned "virtual summer camps" to keep children engaged during their vacations. From fun activities such as learning music, dance, art, photography, application development, machine learning to youth empowerment programmes, yoga, emotional intelligence, meditation, social skills, a number of online summer camps are being offered to help children stay busy and productive during their vacations. YSkool (, under Yardstick Educational Initiatives, will conduct live interactive classes in 50 plus programmes for children in the age group of four to 18 years. These programmes include yoga, wellbeing, entrepreneurship, STEM, coding, programming (Java, Python, C++), web development, dance, music, computer animation, Android app development, photography, machine learning, game design, guitar, piano and learning languages (French, German, Spanish).

New restrictions on heavy vehicles, trucks in Abu Dhabi

New restrictions on movement announced by Abu Dhabi Police on Saturday as the emirate continues to fight against the pandemic. From today Sunday, heavy vehicles and trucks will be banned from using the emirate's roads during peak hours of 6:30am to 9am, 3pm to 6pm in Abu Dhabi city and 6:30am to 8:30am, 2pm to 4pm in Al Ain city. Moreover, partial travel restrictions continue in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Following the completion of the National Sterilisation Programme in Abu Dhabi, residents are allowed to move freely within the emirate. However, there is an entry ban into the emirate, except for pre-exempted categories. Those who wish to enter Abu Dhabi may apply online to avail permit. But anyone exiting Abu Dhabi does not require a permit.

CBSE circular to UAE schools explains how Grade 10, 12 students will be assessed

Schools in the UAE have welcomed the assessment criteria that the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has laid out for Grade 10 and 12 students. The board cancelled the Grade 10 and 12 exams that were supposed to be conducted in India from July 1 to 15. For students in the UAE and other schools overseas, the remaining examinations were dropped in an earlier decision. Now that all CBSE exams are cancelled, a circular was recently issued to school heads, detailing how students will be assessed. Results are expected by July 15. The memo also explained that students who are not satisfied with their performance may take optional exams. In Para-7 of the document signed by the controller of examination, Dr Sanyam Bhardwaj, details of the scheme were explained in three points.


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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