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 346 new Covid-19 cases, 732 recoveries, 2 deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 346 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 732 cases of recovery. As many as 38,000 new Covid-19 tests have been carried out, the ministry said. Two new cases of death were also reported. With the latest announcement, the number of active cases in the country fell to their lowest in more than a month. The last time active cases were below today’s (13,828) was on May 13, when active cases stood at 13,657. With rigorous, easily accessible testing across the country, the UAE has managed to stem the rise in new Covid-19 cases, and recoveries are now double the number of reported cases on a daily bases. To further keep a check on new cases, Abu Dhabi on Monday extended its travel ban by another week, starting from June 16.
High recoveries, low infections: Dubai on track to beating Covid-19
Dubai is on track to curbing the spread of Covid-19, a top official has said. Marked by a high rate of recoveries and a declining number of infections, the official said Dubai is moving steadily towards overcoming the pandemic. Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, head of Dubai’s Covid-19 Command and Control Centre, said a number of hospitals in the emirate do not have any Covid-19 cases. “Most government and private hospitals in the emirate have resumed diagnostic and treatment services and their capacity is not under pressure due to Covid-19 cases,” he said. The official said an analysis of indicators in the last three months shows a significant decline in cases. “The rate of infections in the last three weeks has fallen considerably while the rate of recoveries has increased. The number of cases requiring hospitalisation also saw a decline,” he stressed.
Citizens, residents no longer need a permit to travel out of Abu Dhabi
Citizens and residents may leave Abu Dhabi without a permit, the emirate’s Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee for the Covid-19 Pandemic has announced. Taking to Twitter on Tuesday, the authority said permits issued by the police are needed for entering Abu Dhabi and to travel between its regions (Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafra). “Movement within each region is allowed in line with the National Sterilisation Programme timings (10pm to 6am). Movement of workers remains restricted within Abu Dhabi’s regions. Entry and exit of workers to Abu Dhabi emirate is still prohibited,” the authority added.
UAE lab to test 35,000 Covid-19 samples a day
A specialised laboratory in Abu Dhabi is ramping up its daily Covid-19 testing capacity to 35,000 samples as screening for the virus continues on a war-footing. UAE-based Pure Health manages 117 labs across the country. It operates the UAE’s largest testing capacity lab in Mafraq Hospital, next to Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City. The highly secured lab, which was set up in under two weeks in March, started with 10,000 tests a day and is now raising its capacity as per requirement, said Pure Health area laboratory manager Mati Ur Rehman Khan, as Khaleej Times toured the facility. “We are the largest lab operator in the region. We have been providing Covid-19 testing services in the UAE from day one. Our lab in Abu Dhabi could be the largest testing facility of its kind in the region. It houses the largest number of nucleic acid extraction and purification systems along with real time PCR platforms.”
Are diabetics more prone to contracting Covid-19?
With the UAE reporting that 40% of those who died with Covid-19 in the country were diabetics, doctors have cautioned that those with chronic diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from Covid-19 that can even result in death. Infection chances of a diabetic contracting Covid-19 maybe slightly higher when compared to non-diabetic population, said Dr. Shobha Sudarshan Shetty, specialist internal medicine at Medeor Hospital, Abu Dhabi. “However, the severity of symptoms associated with the viral infection is more in diabetic patients. There are multiple factors, which are responsible for the increased risk among Covid-19-infected diabetes patients. The main reason could be impaired immunity. Diabetic patients have weaker immune system.”
Abu Dhabi hospitals reschedule visits to avoid crowding
As part of the precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 pandemic, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has rescheduled appointments at its hospitals to avoid crowding and high footfall. This is part of a number of additional safety precautions and procedures implemented across its facilities and clinics to ensure patient safety and protection. The network has implemented strict safety measures to protect both patients and staff, Seha said in a statement on Tuesday. The measures include controlled entry with disinfection and temperature checks at the entrance, glass barriers between reception staff and patients at registration, redesign of waiting rooms in line with social distancing guidelines and the closure of cafeterias and prayer rooms.
Pakistani businessman in Dubai offers free stay to Covid-hit residents
A Dubai-based Pakistani-national businessman has come forward to offer free interim accommodation options to those who have no roof over their head during these times. Inspired by the ongoing efforts taken by the UAE leadership to take care of all UAE residents, Ali Rao, CEO of Rao Holdings LLC in Dubai is offering free shared accommodation to unemployed male bachelors and workers who do not have a place to stay. Rao currently has a capacity of 100 accommodation options that he wishes to offer to those who cannot afford house rent. “We have already placed 25 such men in these housing options spread across Al Quoz, Jebel Ali and Muhaisnah areas of Dubai,” Rao told Khaleej Times. He works in collaboration with major charities in Dubai, who refer the cases to Rao.
Home quarantine comes with free food, laundry service in Abu Dhabi
Health authorities in Abu Dhabi have been making sure that home quarantine is convenient and comfortable for Covid-19 patients. Free food, tele-consultations, laundry and waste management are just some of the basic services offered as part of the programme. A medical team also conducts subsequent tests right at patients’ homes until they test negative, so they do not have to visit a centre, according to the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi (DoH). The DoH and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre have been offering the Home Isolation Programme since early April. Recently, the team launched a smart WhatsApp service, which now serves as a central source of information about Covid-19 and home quarantine. It also makes services accessible to enrolled patients.
Stuck in Dubai for 3 months, Briton with OCI card flies ‘home’ to India
A single mother with a British passport and Overseas citizenship of India (OCI) card, who has been stranded in Dubai since March 31, flew home to Kerala on Tuesday on board a chartered flight. The flight organised by the Malayalee Arts and Sports Cultural Centre (MASCA) departed from Dubai to Kochi at 2.30pm. Kaippully Geetha Ramdas, a clinical psychologist with the Corporative Hospital in Thrissur, was among the first few to experience a travel ban, imposed on Indian citizens and OCI cardholders since March 14. Though Geetha, 46, holds a British passport as she was born in London, she has not set foot in the UK for 44 years, she told Khaleej Times. To add to her woes, Geetha’s son, Aditya Sanith, an architecture student, is stranded in the UK. “His ticket to Kerala is booked on June 18. I don’t know if he would face similar issues,” she said.
Dubai set to reopen waterparks with strict rules, including bringing your own towels
Dubai waterparks are set to reopen, the emirate’s tourism authority announced today via a circular issued to park operators. In the circular dated June 16 issued to hotels and other establishments, Dubai Tourism said strict safety measures must be implemented when water parks and shower rooms reopen for visitors. Through a strict set of guidelines, Dubai Municipality has mandated operators of waterparks and water attractions in Dubai to ensure that all such facilities undergo deep cleaning and water quality tests before they are reopened. Among the list of 38 rules is the guideline that visitors will not be allowed to borrow towels from the facilities, and must bring their own towels and accessories when they visit waterparks. Prior to Covid-19 restrictions, it was a general practice for waterparks and public swimming pools to offer towels to guests.
Abu Dhabi flattens Covid-19 curve with mass testing, early detection
Mass testing means early detection of the Covid-19 infection, an aspect which has been successfully followed with positive results, medical experts said after local authorities extended the travel ban in Abu Dhabi. Half a month of movement restrictions on entering and exiting the Capital and travelling between its regions has seen the health authorities scale up screenings in the industrial area of Mussafah, Al Ain and other high-density areas. And so far more than 388,000 residents have been tested as part of the expanded National Screening Programme. The entire exercise has had a direct affect on the Covid-19 national stats as the number of recoveries has more than doubled on many occasions compared to new cases. And the trend is gaining momentum. If on June 5, there were 624 new cases and 765 recoveries, after another round of travel ban and testing, it’s 346 cases and 732 recoveries on June 16.
Bicycle patrols to monitor Abu Dhabi’s commercial premises
A cycling initiative has been rolled out in Abu Dhabi to enable inspectors monitor commercial premises quickly and easily to ensure that owners of outlets adhere to the Covid-19 precautionary measures. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) on Tuesday said it launched the bicycle patrol initiative with the aim to enhance awareness of the preventive measures and accelerate monitoring operations to help curb the spread of Covid-19. According to authorities, the bicycle patrols will inspect potentially crowded shops and buildings in targeted areas while responding quickly to any complaints received. This method will also help inspectors to guide shoppers on social distancing measures and avoid crowds.
Flydubai set to take off again with safety measures
Budget carrier flydubai on Tuesday said it was focusing on returning to service and has “reengineered the entire passenger journey” in line with the best practices from local and international bodies. This comes as the UAE authorities on Monday announced that select categories of UAE citizens and residents will be permitted to travel abroad to certain destinations from June 23. The airline has carried out an “extensive disinfection programme across all touchpoints” throughout the customer journey, it said in a statement on Tuesday. “As flydubai prepares to return to the skies, passengers can rest assured about hygiene on board as the airline has a comprehensive cleaning programme in place and disinfects its aircraft every day with manufacturer-certified cleaning products,” it said.
How to have a safe day out at your neighbourhood pool in Dubai
With public and private pools now open in Dubai, residents were excited to take a dip, saying it was a much-needed relief from the summer heat. After more than two months of closure, swimming pools in certain communities and residential buildings have started operating again, but with mandatory dos and don’ts, like accommodating only 50 per cent of the capacity at a time. Some tenants on Tuesday received circulars from their community management teams, stating their pool facilities have already been deep-cleaned and all other safety measures are in place. Russian resident Valeriya Svalova and her three-year-old son were among those who headed straight to their community’s pool as soon as they received the advisory.
Abu Dhabi expands national screening programme
Abu Dhabi’s has expanded the national screening programme in high-density residential areas to help curb the spread of Covid-19. In addition to mass testing of residents in the Capital, the programme now involves helping with medical and personal needs, supporting people with chronic diseases and serving all members of the community during challenging times.
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