41 new cases, 2 deaths, no job loss, fraud alert

Microscopic illustration of the spreading 2019 corona virus that was discovered in Wuhan, China. The image is an artisic but scientific interpretation, with all relevant surface details of this particular virus in place, including Spike Glycoproteins, Hemagglutinin-esterase, E- and M-Proteins and Envelope.

UAE 31 March 2020: The UAE Government has announced the detection of 41 new coronavirus cases among various nationalities, taking to 611 the number of infections in the country.

The government also announced the full recovery of three patients and the death of two patients due to health complications. A 48-year-old Arab national died while suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes, while an Asian national who died at age 42 also suffered from heart disease. Covid-19 fatalities have now reached five in the UAE.

The announcement was made by the Ministry of Health and Prevention during a regular media briefing on Monday, wherein Dr. Farida Al Hosani, the official spokesperson for the UAE health sector, highlighted the latest Covid-19 developments in the country and the measures taken by Emirati authorities to combat the spread of the pandemic.

Dr. Al Hosani affirmed that ”The 41 patients are receiving the necessary healthcare. Two of them are under intensive care, while the others are in a stable condition.”

The new cases belong to various nationalities, including one each from China, Syria, the Philippines, Australia, the UAE, Sudan, Poland, and Malaysia; two each from Brazil, Bangladesh, Ireland, Egypt, and Britain; three from Italy, and 20 from India.

Total recoveries now 61

During the media briefing, the government announced the full recovery of an additional three patients–two Indians and a Sri Lankan–taking the total recoveries to 61.

Dr. Al Hosani explained that the increase in cases announced in recent days was connected to travel and direct contact with people arriving from abroad. However, some diagnosed cases were related to contact and human-to-human transmission inside the country, which is expected and common in other countries.

The disease, she stressed, is not confined to a specific geographic area, noting that a previously monitored and confirmed case had come in contact with others, infecting 36 people.

Drive-through test centres

The new test centres will open in Dubai, Sharjah (which will also serve Ajman and Umm al Qaiwain), Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Al Ain, and Al Dhafra to provide rapid testing for citizens and residents across the UAE using the latest medical technology. Priority will be given to people suffering from respiratory and chronic diseases, senior citizens, and pregnant women.

”These drive-through test centres contain a safe environment, which reduces contact and can offer a five-minute, in-vehicle test for Covid-19 to 600 people per day,” she added.

Elaborating on preventive measures, Dr. Al Hosani explained that face masks are compulsory for people suffering from respiratory symptoms such as coughing, flu, and fever, in crowded and closed places.

She called upon retail outlets not to oblige all customers to wear face masks except for select groups. She stressed that sharing face masks is unhealthy and can spread the virus.

”Used masks should be disposed of in a safe, healthy way and thrown in closed containers,” she concluded.

No employee will lose job during pandemic: ADCB Group

ADCB Group, including Al Hilal Bank, yesterday announced its commitment to ensure the continuity of employment at the bank, pledging that no employee will be made redundant during 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Khaldoon Al Mubarak, Chairman of ADCB Group, said, “The banking sector plays an important role in ensuring UAE residents and businesses are supported in these challenging times and ADCB Group recognises the importance of expressing solidarity with our employees and their families as they carry out their roles in this challenging period.”

ADCB continues to collaborate with all UAE government agencies and other leading private sector companies to ensure a swift and effective response to the economic challenges this health challenge is bringing, said Wam.

Additional apps for distance learning

In light of the UAE’s efforts to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and the ongoing effort to support distance learning, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), in co-operation with the telecom operators in the UAE (Etisalat and Du), announced the availability of an additional set of applications on all of the UAE’s networks, on an exceptional basis and until further notice.

The applications are:

  1. Google Hangout Meet
  2. Cisco Webex
  3. Avaya Spaces
  4. BlueJeans
  5. Slack

Applications that continue to remain available are:

  • Microsoft Teams
  • Skype for Business
  • Zoom
  • Blackboard.

TRA will review and update the list of available applications from time to time.

UAE Central Bank alert on fraudulent activities

The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), issued a statement on Monday warning individuals of fraudulent activity.

“Fraudsters always look for opportunities to target consumers, and as the public is engaged with coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic news; fraudsters are using different tactics to increase fraudulent activities on banking customers,” said a statement.

CBUAE cautioned consumers saying that it would never ask consumers about private information – such as personal and bank account information. It warned consumers to be alert and aware of malicious phone calls and WhatsApp messages claiming to be from CBUAE. It added that such calls and messages are of a fraudulent nature.

“We also alert the public to avoid responding to such calls, messages, and opening any hyperlink that may be attached, which may provide exposure to a malicious website and inform authorities immediately,” it added.

The public should be aware that CBUAE never conducts phone calls – unless a consumer complaint has been logged through the right channels with a reference number – or uses social media to contact individuals or businesses.

Any suspected fraudulent phone call should be reported to the respective authorities, the Central Bank advised, adding that it is closely working with concerned authorities to halt such fraudulent activities.

Dubai Ambulance launches ‘Self Sanitisation Walk’

Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services has launched its first ‘Self Sanitisation Walk’ to protect paramedics and their colleagues and families from the risk of various kinds of infection. The new device helps paramedics safeguard themselves from any infection that their clothes may catch during the course of working with confirmed and suspected cases of Covid-19.

Dubai Ambulance’s Executive Director Khalifa Aldrai said, “By efficiently sterilising their clothes and shoes, the ‘Self Sanitisation Walk’ allows paramedics and other staff to gain an additional level of protection. The new device, developed in collaboration with SFFECO Global, enables healthworkers to perform their duties with a high level of safety.”

The ‘Self Sanitisation Walk’ is one of its innovations currently being tested and assessed for deployment on a wide scale, he added. The ‘Self Sanitisation Walk’ has been installed at the entrance of the accommodation facility of Dubai Ambulance’s field workers, along with thermal screening equipment.

SFFECO Global‘s President and CEO Hadi Al Khatib, said the ‘Self Sanitisation Walk’ sprays workers with a mist that disinfects clothes in less than 20 seconds. By detecting movements automatically, the device starts spraying only when a person passes through it, helping to save on energy. The device also has hand sanitisers.

Dubai ambulances get free fuel for fortnight

CAFU, the region’s first on-demand fuel delivery app, said it will provide all ambulances operated by the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services with free fuel for a period of two weeks.

The gesture highlights the collaboration between the private and public sector in facing challenges in the current critical environment.

As part of the initiative, CAFU will deliver petrol on-demand to the corporation’s fleet of ambulances that operate in over 100 locations across Dubai, bringing contactless fuel delivery to frontline health workers and eliminating the need for them to go to a petrol station.

Rashid Al Ghurair, Founder and CEO of CAFU, said: “CAFU has evolved into an essential part of people’s lives since its launch. We now have 180 trucks covering Dubai, Ajman, Sharjah and Umm Al Quwain. CAFU is designed as a contactless service – our pilots can come and fuel cars wherever the customer is and at their convenient time, minimising exposure to any physical contact while still ensuring the car is always fueled up.”

Khalifa Bin Dray, Executive Director of Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, said: “We deeply appreciate this remarkable initiative from CAFU . This is a true testament of the UAE’s ability to inspire solidarity between members of the society to defeat this pandemic. This cooperation is in line with the directives of our wise leadership to bolster cooperation between the government and private sectors to prevent the spread of this disease.”

A Dubai-born start-up, CAFU has been providing motorists with an innovative and convenient app-based service that allows them to get fuel at their exact location at any time. The CAFU app aims to save motorists time and effort by eliminating the need to queue up at petrol stations.

ADJD announces first remote litigation hearings

The Abu Dhabi Judicial Department (ADJD), has announced that the first remote litigation hearings using the video-conferencing technology took place today, where the Commercial Summary Matters Court examined 4 urgent commercial cases in the presence of all parties.

This move, the ADJD said, is part of the telecommuting and business continuity plan adopted by the ADJD in line with the efforts of the UAE to limit the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19.

Counselor Yusuf Saeed Al-Abri, Under-Secretary of the Abu Dhabi Judicial Department, explained that the activation by the ADJD of the remote litigation system in response to the directives given by H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and President of the Judicial Department, in support of the business continuity system by strengthening the globally recognised leading and prominent ability of the ADJD to manage emergencies and crises in the judicial sector.

He also stressed the readiness of the Department and its ability to develop and diversify working methods in line with the societal variables while preserving the legal controls, by opening new niches for the development of judicial services in order to enshrine the pioneering role of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi in achieving a fair and efficient justice according to high standards of quality and excellence.

ADJD had adopted an integrated business continuity plan within the framework of a teleworking system that encompasses all judicial services in addition to a comprehensive shift towards electronic services, with the aim of simplifying procedures for customers, facilitating universal access to its services, and preserving the health and safety of its employees and customers.

Dubai services for senior citizens, residents

Dubai Police, in cooperation with the Community Development Authority (CDA), has launched ‘Secure Together’, a community-centred service that offers rapid response to requests for assistance from the elderly across Dubai.

The new service will prioritise requests from seniors to Dubai Police’s command and control centre for essential support and services including medical aid, disinfection and sanitation services at their residences.

Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police and Commissioner General of the Citizen Services Pillar of Dubai Council Lieutenant-General Abdullah Al Marri said the country’s leadership places the highest priority on meeting the vital needs of senior citizens, both nationals and expatriates.

“The initiative seeks to respond to their urgent requirements in this critical period during which we have an even greater responsibility to take care of this vulnerable segment of society. Serving the community and working constantly to ensure the safety and wellbeing of people are some of Dubai Police’s key duties. We will spare no effort to fulfil these responsibilities,” he said.

An updated database of places of residence of the elderly has been developed to help authorities respond rapidly to urgent requests and emergencies, and provide them with social support and care.

Ahmad Julfar, Director-General of the Community Development Authority in Dubai, said the service is part of integrated efforts being made under government directives to curb the spread of the coronavirus, Covid-19, pandemic and protect the most vulnerable segments.

UK’s Prince Charles out of self-isolation and in good health

LONDON: British heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles, 71, who had tested positive for coronavirus, is out of self-isolation and is in good health, Reuters quoted his spokesman as saying on Monday.

“Clarence House has confirmed today that, having consulted with his doctor, The Prince of Wales is now out of self-isolation,” the spokesman said.



No classroom teaching till end of this academic year

UAE residence permits extended with no charge

Al Ras under lockdown, DHA to supply essentials

Sharjah shuts down pharmacies which hiked price