Around-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 1,538 Covid-19 cases, 1,501 recoveries, 2 deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 1,538 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,501 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported. As many as 105,740 new tests were carried out, taking the total to nearly 12 million tests so far. The UAE is continuing to administer a Covid-19 vaccine being trialled here among healthcare staff, a top official said yesterday. The vaccine is being given under an emergency approval to the “first line of defense, who are more susceptible to disease as a result of the nature of their work”. Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokesperson for the UAE health sector, said: “Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, many scientific and experimental steps have been shortened for the greater benefit and reduction of the spread of infection.”
Filipinos from UAE among 6,000 stranded in Manila over Covid-19 testing delay
Filipino expats who flew home from the UAE are among the thousands who are now stuck at Manila hotels because of delays in Covid-19 testing. Many have no idea when they are going to get the results. “My pregnant wife and I have been here in the hotel for nearly a week now. I am worried that she may have to deliver our baby in our hotel room, though there are nurses and midwives stationed here,” said Nemar Galagate, a waiter who flew from Dubai to Manila on October 15. Results of the government-funded Covid-19 tests for returning overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) used to be released in one to two days. But that was when the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) was conducting the screenings for the government.
More UAE-India flights if Covid-19 cases drop, says Hardeep Puri
Hardeep Singh Puri, India’s Civil Aviation Minister, has been credited with the successful Vande Bharat Mission and the air bubble with the UAE that has brought home millions of stranded Indian expats. In this exclusive interview to Khaleej Times, he speaks at length about the Covid situation and the reopening of the aviation sector. He also talks on the state of the economy, Air India disinvestment and farming sector reforms. “Covid crisis had a direct and crippling impact on the aviation sector throughout the world. We had to devise unique mechanisms to deal with the various entry restrictions, quarantine regulations and lockdown measures imposed by different state and federal governments. We started the Vande Bharat Mission, which is the largest evacuation mission ever conducted globally, on May 6 2020, to bring back our citizens from around the world,” he said.
How soon will the UAE get India’s 45-minute Covid test?
India’s Tata Group has announced its plans to roll out its low-cost Covid-19 test that gives results in 45-minutes, within a month. The inexpensive paper-based test for the coronavirus could give fast results similar to a pregnancy test, explained Girish Krishnamurthy, chief executive of Tata Medical and Diagnostics, at the UAE- India Health Forum on Monday. Senior healthcare leaders from UAE and heads of diplomatic missions participated in the event. The test, named after a famous Indian fictional detective, is based on a gene-editing technology called Crispr. Scientists estimate that the kit – called Feluda – would return results in under an hour and cost Dh25 (INR 500), reported the BBC on October 4.
RAK shuts bakeries, eateries for flouting rules
The Ras Al Khaimah Municipality has shut down a number of bakeries and eateries during the last three months for violating Covid-19 related restrictions, an official has said. Shaima Al Tunaiji, director, Public Health Department, said as many as 833 inspection campaigns were conducted over the months of July, August and September. “The inspections are meant to ensure public health, curb violations and enforce anti-Covid-19 preventive measures,” she said, adding that the municipal inspectors visited 82 traditional kitchens, 568 restaurants and 184 bakeries. “Some of these institutions failed to observe public and personal hygiene and storage protocol, while others did not have mandatory health cards, certificates and licences.”
65% staff logged in to e-work despite being ill, says Sharjah poll
While working from home is convenient and has largely kept employees safe from Covid-19, it does come with certain drawbacks – like continuing work despite feeling under the weather, a new survey in Sharjah has revealed. Sixty-five per cent of the government employees polled said that during their virtual shifts, they continued working even though they were having some symptoms of illness, according to the survey carried out by Sharjah’s Health Promotion Department (HPD). Some 43 per cent of respondents also mentioned that they have experienced eye pain owing to long working hours. Happiness and mental health recovery among the emirate’s public employees, however, reached 79 per cent.
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