UAE aid for Iran; Sharjah, Ajman close venues

By Eudore R. Chand


UAE 17 March 2020: The United Arab Emirates yesterday announced that it sent two aid planes carrying critical medical supplies to Iran to support the latter’s efforts to combat the coronavirus, Covid-19, disease.

The two aid aircraft, which took off from Abu Dhabi on Monday, contained over 32 tonnes of supplies, including boxes filled with thousands of pairs of gloves, surgical masks, and protective equipment.

The flight is the second humanitarian delivery facilitated by the UAE to Iran in recent days. On 3rd March, the UAE carried out a coronavirus aid mission to Iran in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, WHO, by dispatching a UAE aircraft carrying 7.5 tonnes of medical supplies and five WHO experts to help 15,000 healthcare workers, said Wam.

The initiative came within the framework of the UAE’s cooperation with countries experiencing an outbreak of Covid-19 in order to strengthen global efforts to curb the virus’ spread.

Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, stated, “The UAE’s efforts in carrying out a second medical aid flight to Iran are consistent with our country’s founding humanitarian principles, which guide our belief that providing life-saving assistance to those experiencing distress is essential to serving the common good.”

“The coronavirus crisis has affirmed the effectiveness of the UAE’s aid approach, wherein the leadership and people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with nations in their time of need,” Al Hashemy continued.


Emiratis evacuated, UAE delivers WHO kits to Iran

Following the initial Covid-19 outbreak in Wuhan, the UAE provided medical supplies, including facemasks and gloves, to China.

In Afghanistan, the UAE dispatched an urgent medical aid shipment containing 20,000 testing units and equipment to examine thousands of people.

The aid flights also follow the UAE’s Homeland of Humanity Initiative, wherein the UAE evacuated 215 people of different nationalities from China’s Hubei Province to the Emirates Humanitarian City in Abu Dhabi. The individuals, who were evacuated on 4th March, are currently receiving the necessary medical attention prior to their return to their home countries.

Delay of wedding receptions effective Wednesday

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority have urged the public to temporarily delay all wedding receptions and social activities in all wedding venues, including halls in hotels and at home, effective Wednesday, the 18th of March, for a period of four weeks.

In a joint statement on Monday, the two authorities said the decision is subject to re-assessment according to developments in the country’s health status.

“The decision comes in line with the precautionary measures taken by the UAE to fight the proliferation of Covid-19 and safeguard people from the risks of infection associated with handshaking and other forms of human contact,” added the statement.

The two authorities called for full compliance with the temporary suspension of such social activities to uphold public safety.

In case delay is not possible for compelling considerations, all precautionary measures must be strictly applied during wedding receptions by holding them in dedicated venues, with invitations to be confined to immediate family members. Distance between any two attendees must not be less than two metres, with all other hygiene protocols to be taken strictly into consideration, including avoiding handshakes, hugs, or kissing, all while using disposable tissues to ensure people’s safety.

Dubai Executive Council discusses Covid-19 developments

H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, yesterday chaired the Executive Council’s remote meeting to discuss recent developments related to new coronavirus, Covid-19, and Dubai’s comprehensive crisis preparedness.

H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Council, H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, and members of the Council attended the meeting, which was held based on the latest communication technologies.

Sheikh Hamdan said navigating the challenges posed by the current global situation requires a strong spirit of collaboration as well as temporary changes to our lifestyle and increased awareness about essential preventive measures. Lessons learned from this experience will benefit everyone and will be part of plans to boost immunity and enhance crisis preparedness, he said.

The council discussed a number of other topics including activation of remote working systems at government entities and the provision of the smart tools and platforms required for employees to work remotely and maintain high levels of customer service continuity.

Measures to protect Sharjah markets

The Sharjah Economic Development Department (SEDD), has announced that it has intensified health and safety control campaigns on business establishments within the emirate to ensure the general public’s safety.

According to a statement issued by the department, all cinemas, amusement parks, amusement and electronic games centres, bodybuilding and fitness gyms are to close from 16th to 31st March 2020.

The SEDD noted that the decision was made issued in line with federal and local authorities’ advise to take all necessary precautions to contain the spread of coronavirus, Covid-19.

Commercial officers at SEDD are carrying out inspection campaigns, visiting the emirate’s markets, sales outlets, societies and pharmacies in the country.

All consumers were asked to communicate with the department via its toll free number, its social media accounts, or consumer protection website to report any consumer protection violations or product price hikes.

Sharjah Chamber implements remote work for some units

The Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), has started implementing the remote work system, calling on all customers to use its smart platforms including chamber’s website and app.

The services which will be provided online include the completion of the transactions of certificates of origin, attestations, memberships, and a number of other electronic services.

“This would help support the business environment and consolidate Sharjah’s position as the first destination for attracting investments and promoting the economic movement, in line with the SCCI’s endeavours to improve the quality of services provided to its partners from the public and private sectors,” a chamber statement read.

The Sharjah Chamber has stressed the importance of everyone’s participation in the success of prevention efforts to curb the undesirable effects of this global pandemic.

Ajman closes venues citing Covid-19 concerns

Government bodies in the Emirate of Ajman have announced the temporary closure of wedding venues, fitness clubs and massage centres as part of precautionary measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, Covid-19.

Shopping malls in the emirate will also see the installation of thermal surveillance equipment to monitor the temperatures of mall visitors.

The Ajman Department of Economic Development, and the Tourism Development Department has directed the owners of wedding and event venues to immediately cease any activity until the end of March and called on them to strictly observe this circular.

The Ajman DED noted that it had instructed owners of bodybuilding and fitness clubs and massage and therapeutic centres in the emirate to immediately cease the provision of services to the public until the end of the month in a bid to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 and ensure the health and safety of the general public.

The DED has also directed malls and shopping centres to provide thermometers at the entrances and assign specialists to verify the functioning thereof, within one week from the date of publication of this announcement.

Inspections will be conducted to ensure strict compliance with the circular, the DED statement concluded.