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Coronavirus news bulletin: 809 new cases; UAE minister leads from the front, takes jab; 8 held for organising weddings

ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on September 20, 2020
Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE

(Wam)

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 809 Covid-19 cases, 722 recoveries, 1 death

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 809 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 722 recoveries. One death was also reported. More than 103,000 new Covid-19 tests were carried out across the country, the ministry added. The UAE has conducted over 8.5 million tests till date as part of the country's massive screening programmes to combat the spread of Covid-19. However, the country has witnessed an alarming increase in daily cases, the rate of which indicates a surge in infections in the coming period. The ministry said most of the cases were caused by gatherings resulting from family and social visits without compliance to precautionary measures.

UAE Health Minister receives first dose of Covid-19 vaccine

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammed Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, has received the first dose of Covid-19 vaccine on Saturday. The minister received the jab in line with the Ministry of Health and Prevention's (Mohap) move to administer the vaccine to frontline health workers, who are the higher risk of contracting the virus. "The country seeks to protect people from any dangers that they may face due to the nature of their work," said Al Owais. "Positive results of clinical trials are encouraging ... The vaccine is safe and effective. It is compatible with the laws and regulations that allow a faster review of licensing procedures," he added.

Dubai shuts cafe, fines 7 shops for violating Covid-19 rules

A coffee shop was closed down by Dubai Economy compliance inspectors for employees not wearing face masks and not adhering to social distancing protocols to limit the spread of Covid-19. Seven outlets in International City and Al Bada'a area were fined for not adhering to social distancing measures. Five shops received warnings from the inspectors for not placing social distancing stickers. A total of 660 businesses were found to be compliant in the latest set of inspections, said the authority. Dubai Economy emphasises on the importance of following the precautionary measures and report any violation through the Dubai Consumer app.

8 detained in UAE over wedding parties that flouted Covid rules

Eight people have been detained in the UAE for organising wedding ceremonies that hosted guests who were not first-degree relatives. The wedding ceremonies in Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah saw attendees mingle without masks and maintaining a safe social distance from one another. The party organisers, who are under detention pending an investigation, now face thousands of dirhams in fines and imprisonment. Failing to abide by precautionary measures is punishable by a Dh100,000 fine and/or a six-month imprisonment.

Not more than 10 people can attend funeral, family event in UAE

Any family event in the UAE, including a funeral procession, should not have more than 10 people in attendance, authorities said on Friday. Announced by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the rule was part of the new set of safety guidelines on organising any social event in the country. In a series of tweets NCEMA posted, it clarified that besides the maximum number of 10 people, a family event should be restricted to first-degree relatives. The authority also recommended that all those attending the gathering be tested at least 24 hours before the event.

Covid-positive patient arrested in UAE for violating quarantine rules

The Sharjah Police have arrested a Covid-positive patient for violating quarantine. The police have forced the patient into quarantine again and tightened controls to ensure he doesn't break the safety protocol again. Confirming the arrest, a top official said that those found guilty of violating home and health quarantine rules can be fined up to Dh50,000. Brigadier Dr Ahmed Saeed Al Naoo, director of the police operations department, said the law requires Covid-positive patients to isolate themselves from their family and society. The officer said the police have stepped up inspections to enforce Covid safety rules. From September 1 to 15, the police caught 2,437 residents violating the safety protocols. The police issued a total of 2,486 fines for 26 types of violations.

Police catch 2,437 UAE residents for violating Covid safety protocols

The Sharjah Police have arrested a Covid-positive patient for violating quarantine. The police have forced the patient into quarantine again and tightened controls to ensure he doesn't break the safety protocol again. Confirming the arrest, a top official said that those found guilty of violating home and health quarantine rules can be fined up to Dh50,000. Brigadier Dr Ahmed Saeed Al Naoo, director of the police operations department, said the law requires Covid-positive patients to isolate themselves from their family and society. The officer said the police have stepped up inspections to enforce Covid safety rules. From September 1 to 15, the police caught 2,437 residents violating the safety protocols.

Reverse migration, repatriation go side by side

Even though the number of workers opting for repatriation to their home countries amid the pandemic have substantially reduced, individual donors, companies, and community groups continue to support distressed persons. Donors from across the sub-continent are providing food to the needy households and paying for their repatriation costs. A majority of these distressed people are flying home to India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, according to diplomats and social groups. Neeraj Agarwal, Consul, press, information, and culture at the Consulate General of India in Dubai, said that from Dubai and the Northern Emirates, a total of 368,000 Indians have been repatriated to India.

No vacation for holiday homes in UAE as bookings rise

Holiday homes in Dubai are busy booking business with markets, schools and colleges fuelling demand to a sector that did witness the impact of the global Covid-19 outbreak. Vinayak Mahtani, CEO of holiday home management company bnbme, said: "We have several types of residents staying with us: Those who have bought homes and are waiting for them to get ready; residents who have lost their jobs; colleges renting a place to stay with a month-to-month commitment rather than annual agreements; and parents who have just moved to Dubai and have yet to decide where they want to live based on kids' schools before making a commitment."

author

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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