Daily Archives: April 4, 2020

UAE announces recovery of 17 patients, 241 new cases among various nationalities

ABU DHABI, The UAE Government has announced the detection of 241 new coronavirus cases among various nationalities, taking to 1,505 the number of infections in the country.

‏The UAE Government also announced the full recovery of 17 patients after receiving the necessary medical care, taking the total number of recoveries to 125 to date.

‏The announcement was made by the Ministry of Health and Prevention during a regular media briefing on Saturday, wherein Dr. Farida Al Hosani, the official spokesperson for the UAE health sector, highlighted the latest COVID-19 developments in the country and the measures taken by Emirati authorities to combat the spread of the pandemic.

‏”The newly diagnosed patients of various nationalities are in a stable condition and receiving the necessary medical care,” Dr. Al Hosani affirmed.

She noted that the death of a 53-year-old Arab patient, who succumbed to health complications related to COVID-19, raised the number of fatalities to ten.

‏She expressed her sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished a speedy recovery for all patients.

The official spokesperson for the UAE health sector indicated that the increase in new cases was expected given the intensive proactive testing being conducted by health authorities among infected individuals and their contacts.

‏”Proactive surveillance and testing, along with the expansion in the isolation of contact cases, are critical in this stage, and therefore we expect to diagnose more cases,” she added.

‏She stressed that the general public should maintain a safe physical distance and adhere to preventative measures, warning them of the possibility of being infected and later passing the virus to others when venturing out of the home unless absolutely necessary. She also called upon those currently under home quarantine to adhere to safety protocols and the full duration of the quarantine.

‏She advised members of the community to refrain from spreading false information and rumours and instead consume news and decisions from official sources only, saying: ”We all have a responsibility toward ensuring the success of national efforts to fight the novel coronavirus.”  ‏On preventative measures, Dr. Al Hosani underscored that wearing face masks is imperative for all at this stage, especially when leaving home.

‏”Studies showed that wearing face masks in public places is typically limited to those suffering from respiratory ailments like coughing.” However, she continued, “new studies and research, as well as international recommendations, suggest that the virus could infect people who do not show symptoms.”

‏Speaking about the National Disinfection Programme, Dr. Al Hosani discussed the extension of the nation-wide sanitisation drive after the successful implementation of the first phase, describing it as an ”important” step within the country’s ongoing preventative measures to fight the virus. The programme will be subject to periodic assessment as per recommendations approved by the World Health Organisation and established international practices.

‏She underscored the importance of compliance from the public during the programme, as authorities in each emirate will implement disinfection plans that accommodate the requirements of local entities.

‏Discussing the economic impact of COVID-19, Rashid Al Muhairi, Spokesperson for the Ministry of Economy, said that the economic sector is the most affected by the virus given the fact that the UAE economy is competitive, flexible, and highly connected to international markets. ”The UAE economy is not far away from the effects of the COVID-19 crisis,” he noted.

‏”To ward off this negative impact, the Ministry of Economy has coordinated with other relevant authorities to ensure business sustainability, increase readiness, and set up central operations rooms and taskforces on retail outlets, suppliers, price controls, consumer protections, tourism, and foreign trade and investment to address the expected economic challenges,” he added.

‏On measures taken so far, Al Muhairi explained that a database of more than 1,600 registered retail outlets across the country has been established and a plan has been developed to regularly assess the availability of basic commodities.

‏Al Muhairi referred to sustained coordination between the Ministry and its stakeholders, including suppliers and retail outlets, to ensure that these commodities are available at reasonable prices. Coordination with customs departments has also enabled the fast tracking and facilitation of the entry of food shipments from ports to storehouses. Customs and clearance procedures have been reduced from two days to a few hours, he explained.

‏Other measures, he continued, include cooperation with suppliers to diversify their sources of imports and identify alternative markets of basic commodities to meet the demands of local markets in the event that items are affected by measures taken in goods’ countries of origin.

‏On price control measures, he added that the Ministry has set a profit cap of 5 percent that retail outlets should not exceed when selling face masks and sanitisers.

‏Al Muhairi affirmed, ”UAE markets are not facing a shortage of any essential commodity, and supply and import operations are taking place as planned. Local production is continuing, and stockpiles are sufficient for long periods. Therefore, there is no need for consumer malpractices such as the excessive hoarding of commodities.” ‏He said that tourism is one of the sectors significantly affected by the coronavirus crisis due to travel bans and international traffic restrictions. However, he stressed, the UAE tourism sector is resilient. ”The sector is expected to quickly rebound after the crisis,” he concluded.

Source: Emirates News Agency

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Ban on catching, selling of ‘badah’ fish lifted

ABU DHABI, The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment has lifted from tomorrow, Sunday until the end of the year in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, the ban on catching and selling of the ‘Longtail Silver Biddy’ fish, known locally as ‘badah’.

This came on directives from H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler’s Representative in Al Dhafra Region, Chairman of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, in response to a request by the Agency, as a result of which Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, the Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has issued the Ministerial Decision 108 of 2020 amending the Ministerial Decision 135 of 2017 on banning the catching and selling of badah.

The fishing and selling ban was meant to allow the fish species to reproduce while the new development aims to ensure sustainability of food supply chains on domestic markets.

Source: Emirates News Agency

UAE Government provides vital services remotely around the clock

ABU DHABI, The UAE Government is providing, through its official website, digital government services around the clock, to enable customers to complete their transactions remotely, ensuring their safety and supporting the country’s efforts to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, and limit its impact on all sectors.

The UAE Government offers 3,730 vital services, which include more than 270 federal services, through smart channels on its official portal. Customers can benefit from more than 180 remote services, including vital services to senior citizens and residents and people of determination.

They can also search for an authority’s name or filter results by emirate or category, and services are arranged alphabetically for easy access.

These electronic services are characterised by their ease of use, account the needs of customers, are supported by a digital identity system, and enable customers to download documents and save their applications for later submission. They also enable customers to digitally sign documents and forms, which requires initial registration in the smart entry system.

The official website has recorded the completion of many digital transactions in all sectors, such as 4,936,040 payments of traffic violations around the country, as well as the completion of 1,381,095 other transactions that include the renewal work permits and contracts from outside the country, the completion of 987,194 vehicle ownership renewal transactions, the payment of 964,381 electricity and water bills, and 751,762 ID card renewals.

In a statement to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Salem Al Hosani, Acting Deputy Director-General of the Information and Smart Government Sector, said, “As part of the authority’s role in achieving smart transformation at federal and national levels, we are keen to establish the appropriate infrastructure and general principles to provide integrated government services while considering the priority of dealers.”

“During the current circumstances when we are witnessing precautionary measures at a national level to counter the spread of coronavirus, we are all reaping the fruits of these efforts through our readiness, whether in terms of services development or telecommunications and digital transformation infrastructure,” Al Hosani added.

“We are ready to continue supporting government agencies in providing remote services, in line with the directives of the country’s leadership and to achieve the authority’s goals to promote a digital lifestyle and create smart infrastructure for the communications sector and digital transformation,” he further added.

The Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 aims to diversify and employ advanced technologies, to ensure that 50 percent of federal government transactions at done through blockchain by 2021, saving time, effort and resources and enabling individuals to complete most of their transactions in a place and time appropriate to their lifestyle and work.

The strategy will also save AED11 billion annually, as well as 389 million government documents, 77 million hours of work, and 1.6 billion kilometres of driving distance.

Source: Emirates News Agency

SCCI opens online registration for Sharjah Excellence Award 2020

SHARJAH, The Board of Trustees of the Sharjah Excellence Award has announced that the registration for the seven categories of the award is now open and will last until the end of October 2020.

The award is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, and organised by the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, SCCI.

The SCCI called on the business communities in the UAE and the Gulf Cooperation Council, GCC, to participate in the award and to make use of its numerous benefits, including the awareness programmes and courses which enhance the culture of institutional quality and excellence and adopt the best practices in the private sector.

This year, the activities will only be available online keeping in mind the SCCI’s regard for the health and safety of everyone in light of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.

Abdullah Sultan Al Owais, Chairman of the SCCI and the Board of Trustees of Sharjah Excellence Award, thanked the board members and appreciated the efforts of the staff members, evaluation committees, the jury committees, the advisors, and the strategic partners in the previous edition, something which helped consolidate the award’s status and reputation as one of the most important awards in the region.

Al Owais called on the award’s staff members to intensify their efforts in promoting the various categories of the award, to achieve its message to enhance the role of the private sector in economic integration. This can be achieved by developing the private sector and enhancing its performance and efficiency not only in Sharjah but also in the GCC.

This in line with the wise vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.

Promoting the Investment Climate The SCCI’s Chairman underlined the importance of the Sharjah Excellence Award which promotes the investment climate for the UAE and Gulf business communities. This would help to enhance the growth of commercial and industrial businesses and build a sustainable economy, especially due to the after-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nada Al Hajri, General Coordinator of the Sharjah Excellence Award, said that registration is open to all companies and the small, medium, and large enterprise via email and website. The enterprises can submit their files until the end of November 2020, while the evaluation process will take place from December 2020 to January 2021, she said.

Based on the excellence model of the European Foundation for Quality Management, EFQM, which forms a comprehensive management framework for more 30,000 enterprises worldwide, the seven award categories are the Sharjah Excellence Award, Sharjah Gulf Excellence Award, Sharjah Green Award, Sharjah Small & Medium Enterprise Award, Sharjah CSR Award, Sharjah Entrepreneurs Award, and Sharjah Gulf Localization Award.

Source: Emirates News Agency

Key landmarks illuminated in blue to mark World Autism Awareness Day

DUBAI, Several institutes and departments in the UAE responded to the request of the Ministry of Community Development to light the key landmarks in blue to symbolise the World Autism Awareness Day which falls on April 2nd each year, and is celebrated this year under the theme of “Transition to Adulthood”.

The ministry is very keen annually to organise a series of educational and awareness initiatives and events on this occasion, including the lighting of several key landmarks and government buildings in blue, as part of the efforts to support people of determination, their families and care providers based on the role of the community development role and awareness of this disorder.

The list of key landmarks illuminated on April 2nd to mark World Autism Awareness Day include: Burj Al Arab, Marina Bridge 5, Al Qarhoud Bridge, Tolerance Bridge in Dubai, Dubai Frame, Sheikh Zayed Bridge in Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Department of Municipalities and Transport, Marina Mall in Abu Dhabi, Flag Island in Sharjah, Al Fujairah Citadel, Hazza Bin Zayed Club in Al Ain, and Al Nasr Club in Dubai.

Source: Emirates News Agency