The UAE reported 1,529 new COVID infections, two deaths and 1,504 recoveries, the Ministry of Health and Prevention said. Air carriers also announced an extension on flight suspensions from several Asian and African countries.
The Ministry said that the new cases were revealed after conducting 265,482 PCR tests across the country as part of its plan to expand the scope of tests. The country's national carrier, Etihad Airways had announced that the passenger flights from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh would be suspended until July 31.
"The only exemptions are if you are a diplomat or a UAE national or a Golden Visa holder. Your PCR test in this case must be taken a maximum of 48 hours before your flight departure," the carrier said.
With the newly detected cases, the total number of COVID cases in the country has climbed to 660,978, while the death toll has now touched 1,898 and the overall recoveries have now stood at 638,771.
Expressing regret over the COVID deaths, the Ministry also extended its condolences to the victims kin and wished patients a swift recovery.
The Ministry reiterated its call on community members to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to precautionary measures and abide by social distancing for everyone’s health and safety.
Dubai-based airline Emirates last week also extended the suspension on flights to and from South Africa and Nigeria until July 31.
In an update on its website, the airline said the extension is in line with government directives that restrict travellers' entry from these two countries into the UAE.
"Only one daily passenger flight to Johannesburg will operate as EK763; however, outbound passenger services on EK764 remain suspended," the airline said.
"Customers who have been to or connected through South Africa or Nigeria in the last 14 days will not be permitted on any Emirates flights bound for Dubai," the carrier added.
Suspensions on all six of the countries had earlier been extended to July 21.
It is noteworthy that the UAE's General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has not announced an end date to the flight suspensions.