Covid-19 Round-up: Work-from-home, closures…

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 15 March 2020: Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) has announced it will temporarily close its trading hall in its main offices in Abu Dhabi as well as those in the other emirates beginning 15th March until further notice.

The decision was taken by ADX as “a precautionary measure to protect public health in the United Arab Emirates and ensure the health and safety of visitors”.

The statement carried by Wam added that the decision is in line with World Health Organisation recommendations to restrict public gatherings and has been taken as a preventative measure to mitigate against the current coronavirus pandemic.

Khalifa Al Mansouri, Chief Executive of ADX, said that trading operations will not be affected, as the exchange offers various channels – traditional as well as digital – from which investors can trade.

“To ensure maximum protection and apply restrictions of movement, we recommend that our clients use our digital investor service integrated platform ‘Sahmi’ that empowers users to carry out all daily operations online,” Al Mansouri said.

He noted that ADX has also sought to reduce overall risks for the welfare of the exchange’s employees and has shared the WHO’s recommendations and advice with all its employees.

Two Taksheel centres closed

DUBAI: In line with the UAE government’s ongoing efforts to ensure public health, Tashkeel in Nad Al Sheba and Al Fahidi will close to the public, and public activities will be postponed until the end of March.

During this period, Tashkeel will be undertaking sterilisation and disinfection in both premises.

These additional preventive measures seek to safeguard the health of all those who are part of the Tashkeel community. Tashkeel will reopen on 1 April. For further updates and new dates for rescheduled activities, visit and Tashkeel social media accounts.

Sharjah merges two events

SHARJAH: Expo Centre Sharjah has announced it is merging the 48th and 49th editions of the Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show. This year’s only edition will now take place end of September 2020.

The move has been taken as part of precautionary measures being taken by all entities and institutions in the country in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

“The 48 th edition was scheduled to take place from 25 to 29 March but to protect the safety of all employees and visitors, we decided to combine this edition with the next one and now the event will be organized end of September 2020, the centre said.

Abu Dhabi Department of Health adopts remote working

ABU DHABI: The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi has adopted a part-time remote working system in a bid to ensure the health and safety of its employees and customers.

The department is using advanced technological systems to enable employees to complete their tasks while working remotely, as well as to enable them to participate in meetings and discussions with their teams and partners in the health sector.

Dubai Chamber implements ‘Remote Work’ plan from today

DUBAI: The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry is launching a partial ‘Remote Work’ programme today as part of the preventive measures undertaken to address the risks of coronavirus, Covid-19.

Taken in coordination with relevant government entities, the measures add to the chamber’s efforts to ensure the safety of employees and customers, as well as business continuity.

The chamber’s smart services include certificate of origin service; attestation service; chamber membership; business research and intelligence; legal services; issuance of ATA Carnet; Dubai Chamber CSR Label; credit rating; business groups and councils; Dubai Association Centre services and many other services.

UAE Public Prosecution urges public to use smart services

ABU DHABI: The UAE’s Public Prosecution has urged customers to use its smart services to protect the health of customers and employees, in line the preventive measures taken by national authorities and institutions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19.

The judicial body noted in a statement that it has improved its smart services available on its website, as well as its smart application, adding that customers do not need to go to customer happiness centres.

It went on to add that raising public awareness is the first line of defence to protect the UAE community.

Warehouse421 announces temporary closure

ABU DHABI: Warehouse421, the arts and design centre based out of Abu Dhabi’s Mina Zayed, will close its doors from 15th March until 31st March as part of efforts to preserve the wellbeing and safety of the community.

According to a statement issued by the arts centre, “The decision was made in line with local precautionary measures to curb the spread of Covid-19 and may be subject to extension.

“To date, all public programming at the centre has been postponed till further notice,” it added.

Going to Australia? Prepare for 14-day quarantine

SYDNEY: Australia will impose a 14-day self isolation on all international passenger arrivals from midnight Sunday to contain the spread of coronavirus, Reuters has quoted Prime Minister Scott Morrison as saying.

Australia will also ban cruise ships from foreign ports for an initial 30 days, he said.

Australia has recorded more than 250 coronavirus cases and three deaths.

WTO suspends meetings till April-end, staff to work from home

GENEVA, Switzerland: All World Trade Organisation, WTO, meetings are suspended until the end of April and Secretariat staff have been requested to work from home until the end of March.

Director-General Roberto Azevedo has informed WTO members and staff that access to the organisation’s premises will be restricted as of 16th March.

“In light of developments related to the Covid-19 virus and after meeting with UN agencies and observers in Geneva, we have taken a decision to suspend all meetings at the WTO until the end of April 2020. This decision will be reviewed as appropriate,” the Director-General said. “Additionally, all WTO Secretariat staff – except on-site critical staff – are to work from home until the end of March 2020. This decision will be reviewed by the end of March.”

WTO is reviewing alternatives for arranging virtual meetings to enable members to participate remotely.

Argentina bans entry from coronavirus-hit countries

BUENOS AIRES: Argentina has banned entry to non-residents who have traveled to a country highly affected by coronavirus in the last 14 days, the government officially announced late on Saturday.

The ban was established for 30 days, according to the decree published in the official bulletin, Reuters has reported.

The bulletin did not specify which countries would be included in the ban, though Argentina already temporarily stopped issuing visas to travelers from the United States, China, South Korea, Japan, Iran, Britain and many European countries.

Argentina now has 45 cases of coronavirus, the health ministry said, up from 21 on 12th March.