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 427 Covid-19 cases, 341 recoveries, no deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday reported 427 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 341 recoveries. No new deaths were reported. As many as 88,803 new Covid-19 tests have been carried out, the ministry added. In a statement, the ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. The health authorities have called upon residents to adhere to precautionary measures against Covid-19 as it is a national responsibility. Mosques and places of worship in industrial areas as well as labour accommodations in the UAE will reopen for worshippers, authorities announced late on Friday night.
Schools in UAE to reopen today with Covid-19 protocols in place
Everything is set as school students return to campuses today for their first socially distanced classes. School managements have taken all steps to ensure safety under the guidance of Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) officials. However, some Dubai schools have decided to postpone the reopening of their campuses as some teachers and staff are yet to undergo Covid-19 tests, Khaleej Times has learnt. Instead of welcoming back students to classrooms today, these schools will start the new academic term with online classes as they await virus test results. Last week, the KHDA made it mandatory for all Dubai school staff to get screened for Covid-19 prior to reopening.
Covid-19 testing underway for teachers, students as schools prepare to reopen in Abu Dhabi
Over 56,000 Covid-19 tests on students and staff have been conducted in Abu Dhabi as part of a major precautionary measure ahead of a return to classrooms on Sunday, August 30. It’s said, an extensive screening programme is under way as schools and universities prepare to open their doors after classrooms come back alive with pupils tomorrow. The safety campaign is targeting 449 schools — government and private schools, as well as 25 colleges and universities. Abu Dhabi’s Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek) has stated only children aged 12 and over require a Covid-19 test before going back to classes. Daily temperature checks will be done for all staff and students. Therefore, students in Abu Dhabi’s private schools will have a staggered return to on-site learning.
UAE announces reopening of mosques, places of worship in industrial areas and labour camps
Mosques and places of worship in industrial areas as well as labour accommodations in the UAE will reopen for worshippers, authorities announced late on Friday night. Taking to Twitter, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said: “The General Authority for Islamic Affairs and Endowments and National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority announce the reopening of mosques and other places of worship in industrial areas and labour accommodations”. The authority, however, stated that the operational capacity of these places of worship will be capped at 30 per cent and that worshippers must strictly adhere to all the precautionary measures announced previously by the authorities to keep the faithful safe from Covid-19.
Safety checks done, classrooms ready in Dubai
They have spent their summer break preparing for this – and today, schools in Dubai are all set to start their first socially distanced classes for more than 300,000 students. “The first days and weeks of the new academic year will be a new experience for all of us,” said Dr Abdulla Al Karam, chairman of the Board of Directors and director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). Since campuses closed in March because of the Covid-19 outbreak, this is the first time schools would be bringing classrooms back to life with returning students. With the guidance of KHDA officials, schools have left no stone unturned in ensuring safety on their campuses.
Yet to complete Covid-19 tests, some Dubai schools push back reopening
Some schools in Dubai are pushing back the resumption of face-to-face classes as a number of teachers and staff are yet to undergo Covid-19 PCR tests, Khaleej Times has learnt. As a result, they will be holding online classes for the first few days, until screenings are completed. Last week, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) made it mandatory for all Dubai school staff to get screened for Covid-19 prior to reopening tomorrow, August 30. In a previous statement the regulating body had said: “All school staff members are required to carry out a Covid-19 PCR test prior to school reopening for the new academic year/term.”
How this UAE-based fitness coach helped people keep fit during the pandemic
Health and fitness coach Isareeya Saipetch could not let the pandemic take a toll on her passion and turned into a virtual instructor. After the reopening of gyms in the country, anxiety and concern over the hygiene have topped everything else for this Thai fitness expert, also called Ohm. “I feel the pressure to providing safe and effective exercises to my students, though it has to be done in an unconventional manner. With the new social-distancing norm, the physical presence has been restricted at times and it is just the communication via the virtual space at other times,” said the mother of two children, aged 12 and nine.
Back-to-school shopping: Parents spending less in the new normal
The possibilities of distance learning are influencing back-to-school shopping behaviours as “going back to school” this term could just be a figure of speech. With parents getting more information on how their schools are operating and how classes will take place, they are adjusting these budgets accordingly. As per a recent back to school YouGov survey, it’s indicated that more than 93 per cent of the parents are looking to purchase at least one item to get their kids ready for school this year. Furthermore, 53 per cent of the shoppers prefer both physical and online stores to buy the school supplies. About 26 per cent said they would prefer only physical stores, while 18 per cent claim that they prefer only online stores for shopping.
Abu Dhabi school bus drivers to be tested for Covid-19 every two weeks
School bus drivers and supervisors must have Covid-19 negative test results every two weeks, the local authorities said in the latest precautionary guidelines for school transportation in Abu Dhabi. Ahead of the school reopening on Sunday, August 30, the Department of Municipalities and Transport in Abu Dhabi through Integrated Transport Centre in Abu Dhabi announced the precautionary measures to be followed by the school transportation sector, students, guardians and parents for the new academic year. These measures include conducting regular Covid-19 testing for drivers and supervisors, ensuring that buses are equipped with thermometers, hand sanitisers, face masks and gloves, observing physical distancing, conducting awareness programmes and increasing the number of buses.
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