Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: Residents no longer need entry permit to return; new facility to boost research; varsities list reopening plans – News

A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.

Here’s a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:

UAE reports 262 new Covid-19 cases, 195 recoveries, 1 death 

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 262 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 195 recoveries. One death has also been reported. As many as 64,110 new Covid-19 tests have been carried out, the minstry added. In a statement, the ministry has once again affirmed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment, and nearly 5.6 million tests have been carried out so far.

UAE residents no longer require entry permit to return

As from today (Wednesday, August 12), expatriate residents stranded abroad will no longer need entry permits issued by the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (ICA) to enter the UAE. The decision was announced by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) and ICA early on Wednesday. The announcement comes as the second phase of the ‘Residents Return Programme’, and coincides with the end of the summer holidays for educational institutions and the resumption of commercial and social activities. As of Wednesday, travellers need not apply for an entry permit and automatic approval will be granted to those wishing to return to the UAE. However, the the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship has recommended those wishing to travel upload their data- ID number, passport, and nationality – on the link to verify the authenticity of their travel documents.

Sheikh Mohammed launches research centre on communicable diseases in Dubai 

Dubai’s Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute has been opened at a time when extensive medical research has become a crucial, urgent need. With the Covid-19 pandemic infecting over 20 million people and claiming 728,000 lives across the world, the facility seeks to contribute to global efforts to fight the virus and prevent potential outbreaks in the future, the emirate’s government said in a statement on Tuesday as it announced the centre’s opening. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, inaugurated the institute, stressing the importance of medical research in the country’s development.

100% e-learning among 3 models for Sharjah students in new term 

Parents in Sharjah can opt for one of three learning models for their children when in-person classes resume at schools from the new academic year. “This flexible plan will ensure the restart of the education process and gradual return to face-to-face learning,” Sharjah’s education regulator Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) said on Tuesday. If parents are reluctant to send their children to schools in the first phase of reopening, they can choose the 100 per cent distance learning option. Students will continue e-learning after the summer break, as they had been doing since March as a precautionary measure against the spread of Covid-19. This follows similar announcements by education regulators in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, who had directed schools to offer the 100 per cent e-learning option to parents who are not comfortable sending their children to campus.

7 drive-thru Covid-19 test centres open across UAE for entering Abu Dhabi 

Seven new drive-through coronavirus screening centres have opened across the country. SEHA’s Ambulatory Healthcare Services announced on Tuesday the launch of laser-based DPI testing (blood test) for people wanting to enter or re-enter Abu Dhabi at select drive-through screening centres. “During the first phase, the service will be provided at screening centres in Zayed Sports City and Corniche in Abu Dhabi, Al Hili in Al Ain, and at the National Screening Centres in Mina Rashed, Al Khawaneej, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah,” the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, said in a statement. Those wanting to enter the emirate can book an appointment via the SEHA app and pay the Dh50 charge.

Dh50 virus tests now available at some drive-thru screening centres in UAE

The Dh50 rapid Covid-19 tests are now available at some drive-thru screening centres for residents who wish to enter Abu Dhabi, health authorities announced on Tuesday. The Ambulatory Healthcare Services (AHS), a Seha health system facility, said these laser-based tests will be available at the National Screening Centres in Dubai’s Mina Rashed and Al Khawaneej; Ras Al Khaimah; and Fujairah. Abu Dhabi residents who are leaving the emirate may avail of the service at the drive-thru facilities in Zayed Sports City and Corniche in Abu Dhabi and Al Hili in Al Ain.

Abu Dhabi extends suspension of international patient care services 

The Department of Health-Abu Dhabi (DoH) on Tuesday announced that the suspension of international patient care (IPC) services is ongoing, with the exception of people with urgent cases whose treatment is not available in the UAE. This exception is given based on the decision of a medical committee. The DoH stated that urgent care requests can be submitted through TAMM, the Abu Dhabi government services ecosystem. Applicants must submit their request for treatment abroad through the platform, irrespective of whether the approval has been granted beforehand. They must also fill out and submitting the application form along with the required documents, including recent medical reports from one of Abu Dhabi’s hospitals.

Indians seek clarity over visit visa travel to UAE 

Following a top diplomat’s announcement that Indian nationals with ‘any type of valid visas’ can now travel into the UAE, scores of Indians have begun applying for visit visas and booking air tickets. However, many have sought clarifications on pre-travel procedures. On Monday, Indian Ambassador to the UAE Pavan Kapoor announced that all Indians with any type of valid UAE visa can now travel into the country, bringing great respite to families and parents of varsity-going students who were stranded in India without residency visas. Taking to Twitter on Monday, the ambassador referred to an Indian Ministry of Civil Aviation notification, “as per which both Indian and UAE airlines” can carry Indian nationals holding any type of visa from India to the UAE.

Covid tests, ‘mostly online’ classes: Dubai varsities spell out reopening plans 

Mandatory Covid-19 tests for students and education being offered ‘mostly online’ are among the safety measures universities in Dubai will roll out when they reopen in September. Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) had issued a 14-page document of guidelines that higher education institutes must follow when they reopen. Students returning to the SP Jain School of Global Management – Dubai campus will have to undergo a compulsory PCR test organised by the university.

Women’s group in Dubai raises Covid-19 aid from recipe book 

As the world struggled to pass their time constructively during the Covid-19 related #StayHome period, a group of women from Dubai made the most productive use of their time as they believed that ‘every dark cloud has a silver lining’. The volunteer group known as Friends of Emirates Red Crescent, that works under the umbrella of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) and comprises of 12 women of different nationalities, religions and background, managed to raise Dh17,000 by simply launching a unique online recipe book and donating all the proceeds to the ERC to help those affected by the virus. Kamu Bhavnani, co-chair of the volunteer group, said: “We were looking for ways to use our time constructively and to help those in need, especially after seeing many suffer in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Indian doctors in UAE sponsor air tickets of Covid-affected 

They have been sponsoring air tickets of repatriation flights, carrying out treatment of Covid infected, conducting awareness drives and counselling sessions, and supporting blue-collar workers rendered jobless due to impact of the pandemic. A group of Indian doctors from the UAE-based Association of Kerala Medical and Dental Graduates (AKMG) is not just helping the Covid-19 patients and sensitising masses about coronavirus but has also come to the aid of those who are bearing the brunt of the crisis. Since its launch in 2003 under Dr Azad Moopen, chairman and MD, Aster Healthcare, the association has grown from 300 physicians and dentists to 1,400 registered members serving different healthcare groups and clinics across the UAE. The Covid-19 initiatives by AKMG Emirates – spread across the seven emirates – are carried out in coordination with the Indian missions, Norka-Roots, social and cultural associations and media outlets.

Ismail Sebugwaawo


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