UAE introduces a slew of measures to curb evolving COVID-19 infection

The UAE has taken several steps in recent weeks in an effort to slow the rate of infections in the evolving coronavirus scenario.

Social distancing has been a key measure touted by various ministries including the Dubai Economy Department (DED)  as it implements a series of campaigns. 

Three day disinfection campaign in the UAE

The UAE announced on Wednesday the launch of a three-day disinfection campaign - The National Disinfection Programme - across the country, aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus. 

National Sterilisation Programme hits the streets in the UAE. Photo Courtesy: Twitter
National Sterilisation Programme hits the streets in the UAE. Photo Courtesy: Twitter

The campaign will disinfect all streets, roads, public transport and public centres in the UAE, starting from 8 pm tonight and finishing at 6 am on Sunday.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Ministry of Interior which will carry out the operation have said that traffic movement will be restricted and have urged the public to stay home during this period.

Public Transport in UAE suspended for three days

All public transportation in the UAE, including metro services such as the Dubai Metro, will come to a halt countrywide from tonight till Sunday morning. 

Public transportation and traffic will be restricted countrywide from 8pm on March 26 until 6am on March 29. Photo Courtesy: Twitter
Public transportation and traffic will be restricted countrywide from 8pm on March 26 until 6am on March 29. Photo Courtesy: Twitter

Public transportation and traffic will be restricted countrywide from 8 pm on March 26 until 6 am on March 29. 

The stoppage is part of a National Disinfection Programme, said the Ministry of Health and Community Protection and the Ministry of Interior.

Non-essential Dubai stores to close for two weeks

All non-essential businesses in Dubai have been ordered to close from March 25 until April 8 to help contain the spread of COVID-19. 

The Dubai Economic Development Department said that shisha cafes, gyms, theme parks, cinemas, salons, spas and most other services should cease trading.

Some key businesses, essential services, food outlets, cooperative societies, groceries and supermarkets, banks and pharmacies will be allowed to operate.

Restaurants and cafes in hotels will also be allowed to stay open, as will bakeries, laundries and car workshops.

The businesses closing down can continue online sales and e-commerce activities during the closure period, it was stated in the circular. 

Ban on public gatherings and call to StayHome

National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) has banned gatherings and  had earlier urged people to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. 

The Ministries of Health and the Interior also called upon the public to stay at home throughout the national disinfection period. 

People are not to go out except to buy food and medicines or to work in vital sectors such as energy, communications, health, education, security and the police, military, postal, shipping, pharmaceuticals, water and food sector, civil aviation, airports, financial and banking, government media and the services sector, which includes gas stations and construction projects.

Automatic renewal of work permits and visas, exemption from medical tests for workers

As part of precautionary measures taken by the UAE to curb the spread of COVID-19, work permits and residence visas will be issued and renewed automatically for labourers employed by companies and support service staff such as domestic workers.

Labourers need not go to the medical examination centres across the country. 

The Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation and the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship have announced exemption from medical tests for workers whose work permits have expired.

Fees for such services will be collected through authorised payment channels and once the fee is paid, the workers will remain legitimate residents of the UAE.

80% of Dubai's private sector staff to work from home

Dubai on Wednesday announced work-from-home regulations for the private sector in its directive “Remote work for the Private Sector”.

Businesses will need to adhere to implementing remote work system for 80 per cent of their employees till Thursday, April 9, 2020 the circular from Dubai Economy Department (DED) said. 

The UAE reported 85 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday as the global death toll from coronavirus passed 21,000, with more than 400,000 confirmed cases and more than 114,000 recoveries.

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CtoI News Desk
CtoI News Desk – CtoI

Singapore-headquartered online media company targeting Indian Diaspora across Singapore, US, UK and Dubai. Connected to India covers developments around Indians abroad, informing, engaging and entertaining its audiences.

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