UAE cabinet sets up three taskforces for emergencies

By Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 22 April 2020: The UAE Cabinet reviewed developments of the global Covid-19 pandemic in the UAE, in terms of health, education and the economy.

The meet was chaired remotely by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

“We are racing against time to make our country fully ready for various circumstances,” Sheikh Mohammed said, while praising the efforts made by various federal and local healthcare authorities to maintain the safety and health of society.

The cabinet also hosted a group of frontliners to thank them for their tremendous efforts. ”We are grateful for their tremendous efforts,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“Today, you are setting the most wonderful examples of sacrifice, and everyone will learn from you about the meanings of giving, humanity and responsibility. We commend every second of the efforts and energies that you dedicate to the safety of citizens and residents, as well as your awareness of the dangers that you are facing every day to ensure our safety and the protection of our country.

“Your stances and actions will remain go down to the annals of history and will be passed on to generations to come. You are our heroes and strongest bastions, and the UAE’s protective shield,” he added.

We are proud of UAE residents

He also thanked those working in the healthcare sector and community volunteers: “We are proud of UAE residents living with us, including doctors, nurses and paramedics who are all joining hands together and sparing no effort under the current exceptional circumstances.”

“We thank your families, your mothers, fathers and children. All appreciation and gratitude to them! They are heroes as well, and we are ready to support you. We are all one team, and we are serving one country, and we are facing one common enemy,” Sheikh Mohammed further added.


The cabinet approved the formation of:

  • A taskforce to develop the UAE’s modern agricultural sector headed by Minister of State for Food Security, Mariam Mohammed Saeed Almheiri, and representatives from government and private sectors. Sustainable agriculture is an economic, security and social guarantee for the UAE. In addition, the cabinet approved the issuance of a federal law to protect genetic resources and reduce the impact on biodiversity was approved.
  • A taskforce to develop government human resources and provide new applications to raise productivity and skill-sets, with technical preparations for after the crisis.
  • A taskforce to study the optimal use of government buildings and facilities and the possibility of converting them into medical facilities amid this global crisis. A team will study the optimum use of vital facilities during emergencies and crises. The team is tasked with preparing a relevant plan and studying ways of utilising these facilities to best serve various national strategic sectors. The tasks of the team include establishing mechanisms and procedures to convert public and vital facilities in the country, such as warehouses, exhibition halls, schools and others, to health facilities to ensure health prevention, treatment, and diagnosis services are in place across the country when necessity arises.

“All government capabilities will be utilised to rapidly overcome this unprecedented time” Sheikh Mohammed said.

H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has succeeded in coordinating the return of 3,524 Emirati students back home.

“These students account for 96 percent of those on overseas scholarships. They underwent all required quarantine measures and are getting constant checks to ensure their health and safety,” added the UAE’s top diplomat.

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said: “A record 790,000 tests have been conducted until early this week at a rate exceeding 82,291 tests per million people, which makes the UAE among the top world countries for testing in terms of population. Also, periodic field reports have shown that most cases are stable and receiving the necessary healthcare,” he added.

Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, Minister of Economy, said: “Over the recent period, we have ensured continued availability of all essential food commodities in retail outlets for the next three to six months.

“We are striving to ensure that no food commodities needed by the UAE market would be re-exported. Strict price control measures are being taken in cooperation with all economic development departments nationwide to ensure consumer protection,” he added.



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