64 held for quarantine violation, flights halted

UAE 26 March 2020: The Ministry of Interior has referred 64 individuals to the Public Prosecution for violating Federal Law No. 14 of 2014 concerning the prevention of communicable diseases.

The violators did not adhere to home quarantine for 14 days as instructed and exposed others to the disease, subsequently causing the spread of Covid-19.

Violators of the law are subject to jail terms and fines.

UAE suspends all passenger flights

All UAE passenger flights have been suspended for two weeks, subject to further directives by the relevant authorities.

On 23 March, the UAE government directed the suspension of all inbound, outbound, and transit passenger flights within 48 hours. This is a measure to protect communities from the further spread of Covid-19. In line with this directive, Etihad, Emirates and Flydubai said they were temporarily suspending all our passenger flights from 25 March.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, and rest assured that we will resume our services as soon as the situation allows. This is an unprecedented period in the airline and travel industry. But with your support, we are confident that we will be back and welcoming you on board again soon. For now please stay safe,” said an Emirates statement.

Etihad explained that aircraft that were outside the UAE on Tuesday 24th March, will operate to Abu Dhabi as planned, with the final arrival on Wednesday, 25th March, carrying passengers permitted to enter the UAE under current government imposed restrictions.

“We deeply regret any inconvenience and disruption this will cause our customers during this challenging period. Our teams will continue to make every effort to assist its customers and to advise them of their options,” the UAE airline noted.

Flydubai said if you were booked to travel on a Flydubai flight that has been cancelled, go to the “Manage Booking” tab on flydubai.com where you will be able to rebook or request a refund to flydubai voucher.

If you require further assistance, you can call the flydubai Contact Centre on (+971) 600 54 44 45, send an email to letstalk@flydubai.com with “Change my booking” in the subject line or send a private message on Facebook.

If you made your booking through a Travel Agent or Travel Partner, contact them directly regarding your refund and rebooking options.

Daman to cover Covid-19 costs of members stuck overseas

The National Health Insurance Company – Daman, announced that it will cover its members for any medical services related to the diagnosis and treatment of coronavirus, Covid-19, while outside the UAE.

Hamad Al Mehyas, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said, “Daman’s commitment to supporting its members outside the UAE to cover any medical services relating to Covid-19 is aligned with the establishment of governmental rules and regulations in dealing with the outbreak. The health and wellbeing of our members is our number one priority. Daman has partnered with national government bodies and stakeholders in the health sector to support local efforts in confronting the outbreak of Covid-19.”

In light of the advice to limit interactions and stay home, Daman will provide several options for clients to complete transactions online, through which customers will be able to access key services provided by the company through Daman’s official website, damanhealth.ae. Services that can be carried out online include adjusting insurance policies, paying fines, issuance of health insurance certificates, and travel insurance, said Wam.

Daman’s services are also available through the IOS and Android devices with the Daman Health and Thiqa applications, both providing guidance to locate the nearest medical facilities and track the approval of claims.

‘National Disinfection’ for all public utilities, public transport

The Ministry of Health Prevention, MoHAP and the Ministry of Interior, MoI have announced, in collaboration with relevant federal and local authorities, the ‘National Disinfection Programme’ which entails a complete sterilisation of all public utilities, public transport and metro services during the weekend.

The programme will begin at 8 pm on Thursday 26 of March and ends at 6:am on Sunday 29 of March 2020.

During this period, the movement of the traffic and the public will be restricted, while public transpiration and metro services will be halted.

MoHAP 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, telcommunications, 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.

Pharmacies, and food retail outlets in the UAE, including cooperative societies, grocery stores, and supermarkets, will be allowed to operate 24 hours, as per a circular issued earlier by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA.

The two ministries also called upon the community members to follow instructions during the sanitsation time for their safety and in compliance with the precautionary measures taken by the UAE contain the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Consumer goods available 24/7 at predefined price caps

Abu Dhabi Cooperative Society has assured the public that all consumer goods are available 24/7 across all its 41 branches nationwide in line with the competent authorities’ instructions relating to the exceptional circumstances the country is going through due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement, the society affirmed its commitment not to exceed the predefined price cap for all commodities, noting that home delivery services will be available soon.

RTA takes measures to protect metro, bus and taxi riders

As part of precautionary measures against the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), announced several proactive and preventive measures to protect the health of public transport riders.

Measures taken include controlling the number of riders per metro/bus to maintain a safe distance between riders. Bus doors will be controlled by the driver. The front/middle doors will be opened, and the rear door will remain shut. Moreover, the number of taxi riders has been limited to two per taxi (in the rear seat).

RTA has also increased the number of journeys and stepped up the service frequency of Dubai Metro. Furthermore, all bus shelters in Dubai have been closed temporarily as part of precautionary steps. The objective of these measures is to ensure healthy and safe transit services at the highest global standards and enforce social distancing among passengers.

RTA has called on public transport riders not to use public transport unless necessary; plan their journeys in advance to avoid peak hours, as delays are expected due to the new measures taken; and cooperate with the supervisors deployed at bus and metro stations or on board these modes. It has also urged them to use personal protective equipment while moving around in public areas.

All cultural sites in Abu Dhabi shut down

The Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT Abu Dhabi), has decided to temporarily close all cultural sites in the emirate starting yesterday until further notice.

They include Bait Al Oud, Berklee Abu Dhabi and Al Qattara Art Centre. These sites offered limited art classes, with restrictions according to health and safety measures.

DCT Abu Dhabi had already closed other cultural sites in the emirate, including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Culture Foundation, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort and Qasr Al Muwaiji.

“The safety and well-being of our visitors and staff is of paramount importance. We will update you once the cultural sites resume normal operations,” the department added.

Oasis Malls in UAE announce closure for two weeks

Oasis Malls has announced closure of its mall outlets for two weeks on Wednesday.

In a statement, Oasis Malls explained that mall closures will exclude Carrefour, pharmacies and clinics within the shopping malls in Dubai and Sharjah.

“Oasis Malls will carry on with its daily cleaning and disinfection practices in line with the UAE Ministry of Health and the Dubai and Sharjah Health Authorities,” it added The announcement was made following the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, precautionary instructions.

“As the heartbeat of the city, the wellbeing of all our staff, visitors and the public is of utmost importance and as such, we continue to urge all members of the public to adhere to the preventative methods set in place by the UAE government,” an Oasis Malls spokesperson said.

Additional measures have been taken as the grocery and some healthcare retailers will remain open and operating as normal, while others will be open from 08:00 to 20:00.

In Dubai, a thermal camera has been installed at the mall’s main entrance, for the safety of all visitors looking to access these services.

Handheld scanners have also been ordered to both the Dubai and Sharjah locations, to be used at entry points for the basement parking, which will be fully functional and act as an alternate access point to the Carrefour stores as well as the iCare clinic in Oasis Mall Dubai and Life Pharmacy in Sharjah.

National Ambulance ready to cope with Covid-19 pandemic

The National Ambulance has confirmed its full readiness to address the developments of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It said it has taken all the steps necessary to effectively deal with the pandemic and ensure that the emergency ambulance service remains operational and efficient, whilst also safeguarding the health and safety of its staff and communities.

“To reassure UAE citizens and residents, National Ambulance, in line with guidelines and standards set by the Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, and National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, has taken all necessary precautions and preventive measures, including supporting MoHAP operations in line with best international practices of pre-hospital care.

“National Ambulance is also following the clinical guidelines for healthcare professionals on the pre-hospital care of Covid-19 patients as recommended by MoHAP and approved by the World Health Organisation. It is also following the Infections Prevention and Control Policies and procedures, as well as Infection Control guidelines for Covid-19, including the use of Personal Protective Equipment, PPE, and the disinfection and deep cleaning of ambulances and all the necessary measures to ensure patient and ambulance crews safety,” added the statement National Ambulance has also put in place a contingency plan with the concerned authorities to deal with any unexpected circumstances. To continue functioning and delivering its normal activities, it has activated its business continuity management plan in line with its corporate strategy and the standards and guidelines set by the NCEMA. National Ambulance has continually invested in the latest technology which allows it to remain functional during this pandemic, including the Ambulance Communications Centre, according to the statement.

A remote work system has been activated for employees working in support functions which allows them to efficiently complete their tasks and remotely support operations. Social distancing, regular disinfecting and isolation measures have been taken for our Ambulance Communication Centre and for support staff who have key functions and still need to engage with the public or show up in person for work to prevent the spread of the virus.

National Ambulance provides pre-hospital care in the Northern Regions through the dedicated 998 emergency ambulance number and NA 998 mobile application. Its primary task is to handle the public medical emergency response and provide high standards of emergency pre-hospital care to citizens, residents and visitors across the emirates of Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.

277 Indians evacuated from Iran arrive in Delhi

NEW DELHI: A Mahan Air flight carrying 277 Indians evacuated from the coronavirus-hit Iranian capital Tehran, landed at the Delhi airport on Wednesday morning.

The 277 evacuees – 128 male and 149 female – were then transferred to Jaipur in north Indian state of Rajastan via two Air India flights, Asian News International, ANI, reported on Wednesday.

As many as 273 of those evacuated were pilgrims.

Iran is one of the countries worst hit by coronavirus, having reported more than 63,000 cases, while over 6,000 people have died of the infection in the country, as per the latest data available on the World Health Organisation website.

Oman announces 15 new Covid-19 cases

MUSCAT: The Ministry of Health of Oman on Wednesday announced 15 new cases of new coronavirus, Covid-19, bringing the number of infections in the country to 99.

According to Oman News Agency, seven out of the 15 cases are linked to contact infection, and seven cases are linked to travel to the UK, USA and Spain, while one case is under epidemiological investigation.

The Ministry also said that 17 patients have recovered and they have been advised to stay at home quarantine and adhere to health instructions.

Kuwait confirms recovery of four new Covid-19 patients

KUWAIT: Kuwaiti Minister of Health Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah on Wednesday announced the recovery of four additional people from the novel coronavirus, raising the country’s total recoveries to 43.

According to the Kuwait News Agency, the freshly treated cases are two Kuwaiti citizens and two residents. Dr. Al-Sabah noted that lab tests and analyses had shown the recovery of the four new patients.

They will be discharged from hospital within two days’ time, the minister added.



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