All vehicle permits suspended during disinfection 

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 2 April 2020: The Ministry of Interior (MoI), has decided to suspend all federal and local permits, and online applications for vehicles during the National Disinfection Programme, including the federal movement permit service, ‘Tajawal’ or ‘Move’.

The move comes as part of the ministry’s continuous efforts to evaluate and update the precautionary and preventive measures to curb coronavirus, Covid-19, in a way that will serve the public interest, in collaboration with other relevant authorities, said Wam.

The ministry urged the public to stay at home during the disinfection time and not to go out unless it’s absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or working in vital sectors; including energy, telecommunications, health, education, security, law enforcement, military, postal service, shipping and logistics, medicines, water, food, civil aviation, airports, passports, banking financial services, government media and the service sectors, including petrol stations and construction. The workers’ personal or work identity will be checked and verified.

Government continues to assess preventive measures

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), announced on Wednesday the launch of ‘Weqaya,’ a virtual platform designed to raise public health awareness in relation to the coronavirus, and provide reliable updates and solutions as well as preventative health and safety measures to curb the spread of Covid-19.

Dr. Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for the UAE health sector, explained: ”Weqaya seeks to raise public awareness and avoid coronavirus infection in a simple way. Users will also have the opportunity to communicate with medical and health experts by sending in queries via the website.’’

She announced the formation of the Weqaya Field Team, which consists of volunteers from various nationalities, to conduct public awareness campaigns among members of diverse communities. A call centre was also launched to provide information, guidelines and instructions in coordination with other health call centres through the toll free contact 800-WEQAYA.

New massive laboratory

Dr. Al Hosani revealed the UAE has established a new massive laboratory to address the need for population-scale detection and diagnosis of Covid-19. The laboratory is capable of conducting tens of thousands of real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction, RT-PCR, tests per day and is the first in the world of this scale to be operational outside of China.

The laboratory is a qualitative addition to the UAE’s health sector, she noted. Located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, it was built on a war footing and operationalised by G42 and BGI in only 14 days, providing an immediate solution to Covid testing scale-up needs in the UAE. This laboratory capacity will enable a rapid response to the current outbreak by accelerating the diagnosis, identification of suspected cases, the release of recovered patients, and the screening of close contacts and high-risk groups.

”Work in our country didn’t stop and will never stop, if we take the preventive and precautionary measures. Your health and safety is a top priority to us… Our ethical and national responsibilities require us to pursue our businesses, especially those related to people’s livelihood. Our goals is to continue this national campaign.” In a message of advice to individuals and families, Dr. Al Hosani said: “I received many messages of displeasure from our fathers and mothers about limited family gatherings and visits by their love ones. I assure you that the ongoing measures aim to protect your safety and wellbeing and that of senior citizens and senior residents. Your health is a priority. Communication, however, will continue at all levels.”

In a special message of thanks to parents, she said: “To educators of generations and makers of heroes, we know that we are passing through exceptional circumstances. We appreciate the heavy responsibility placed upon your shoulders inside the family, including work, education and other household chores. This great role is important for national efforts to succeed.”

”Our opportunity today as families is to be more cohesive and interconnected, to revive our life and values, and to strengthen our duty to preserve our nation and community,” Dr. Al Hosani concluded.

Al Ain Hospital reserved for coronavirus patients

Abu Dhabi Health Services (Seha) has decided to dedicate Al Ain Hospital to treating and isolating patients with Covid-19, with the hospital’s current inpatients to be transferred to Tawam Hospital and other nearby medical facilities in Al Ain City.

The decision is aimed to provide the best healthcare services for the community, said Rashid Saif Al Qubaisi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of SEHA.

“The move is in line with SEHA’s efforts to strengthen and ensure the quality of healthcare services provided to the public, and comes as part of national efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the country,” he added.



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