Coronavirus news bulletin: UAE records highest ever cases; shops warned, fined in Dubai malls; Covid-infected man fined Dh50,000

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 1,007 Covid-19 cases, 521 recoveries, 1 death 

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Saturday, September 12, reported 1,007 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 521 recoveries. It also announced a death due to complications caused by the virus. The new cases were identified after conducting additional 95,287 tests. This is the first time that daily Covid-19 infections have crossed the 1,000 mark, making Saturday’s cases the highest recorded in the country. In a special media briefing on Thursday, Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE health sector, had said that there has been a five-fold increase in the number of new Covid-19 cases since August 10. A worrying 88 per cent of the cases detected were a result of gatherings, including parties, condolences, work and breaking the quarantine protocol.

Party has got to stop as daily Covid-19 cases breach the 1,000 mark 

UAE residents are letting their guards down, and in the process, their country, too. Weeks after the country successfully brought down the number of daily Covid-19 cases from its peak of 900-plus to under 200, it has shot up once again. Daily cases crossed the 1,000 mark for the first time, with the country reporting 1,007 infections on Saturday. The next highest of 994 cases was recorded over 100 days ago on May 22. On Saturday, there were 521 new recoveries and one death with active cases count climbing to 9,467. A top official said recently that cases have seen a five-fold surge since August 10. A worrying 88 per cent of the increase has been attributed to gatherings like parties and condolence meetings. Some reckless residents are flouting the rules and bragging about it, too, putting their lives and those of others in danger.

Shops warned, fined in Dubai malls for health violations 

Hundreds of fines and warnings were issued to outlets at four shopping malls in Dubai on a single day (Friday, September 11) for flouting Covid rules, the police have announced. The fines and warnings were issued mainly for non-compliance with social distancing rules at The Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Mirdif City Centre, and Festival City Mall. In all, 141 violations and 1,422 warnings were registered after inspections by police officers and volunteers. The police issued four fines and 542 warnings while monitoring compliance with preventive measures and social distancing rules at the Mall of the Emirates. It issued 92 violations and 620 warnings at four locations at The Dubai Mall. In addition, the police issued nine violations and 90 warnings at Mirdif City Centre. Five locations at the Dubai Festival City Mall got 36 violations and 170 warnings.

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No Covid-19 positive cases among Abu Dhabi inmates 

Protective measures put in place by the authorities have helped achieve “zero Covid-19 positive case” status at the correctional facilities in Abu Dhabi. The Abu Dhabi Media Office on Friday said the police, in coordination with the judicial department and health department, implemented preventative measures to maintain the health and safety of inmates, leading to zero positive cases among inmates. “These initiatives include activation of several digital and self-services systems, distance litigation, online money transfers to inmates’ bank accounts, electronic monitoring, and increased capacity of facilities,” read the tweet. 

Dubai schools make it easy for special needs kids 

Schools have been working with parents in easing students of determination into their learning routines, after what had been an unusually long break this year. As a significant part of their education went virtual, personalised, one-on-one learning was found to have accelerated the students’ progress. Similar to overall campus reopening guidelines, schools and families were given the flexibility to choose between face-to-face and distance learning. Children of determination can also alternate between the two, based on their parents’ convenience and academic development. Sangita Chima, principal of Amity School Dubai, said: “The blended learning approach for students of inclusion has slowly begun to be effective as computer and network-based technology improve their performance. Their self-esteem has increased as they engage in a focused manner during one-to-one online learning.” 

Dubai shuts down crowded restaurant, fines gym for breaking Covid rules 

Dubai Economy department is continuing with its field inspections to ensure that all companies, merchants, consumers and the public adhere to the various precautionary measures and protocols announced in the emirate to limit the spread of Covid-19, including physical distancing, wearing masks and gloves, as well as sanitisation. A restaurant in Satwa was ordered closed by CCCP on Thursday, after their distribution of free meals led to passers-by gathering in front of the store, disregarding physical distancing guidelines and causing congestion. In another incident, Dubai Economy, in cooperation with the Dubai Sports Council, imposed a fine on a fitness centre, for not adhering to physical distancing, especially at their reception, and employees’ lack of commitment to wearing masks. 

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Ras Al Khaimah closes wedding hall, imposes fine for Covid-19 violations 

The Ras Al Khaimah Economic Department on Friday closed a wedding hall and imposed a fine on it for not adhering to coronavirus precautionary measures. The authority said on its Instagram account that this due to the party holding a wedding celebration with the required prior approvals; and not adhering to precautionary measures and instructions issued by the official authorities in the country in terms of social distancing and the obligation to wear masks. The move follows a similar incident in Abu Dhabi on Friday where a groom, his father and the father of the bride were referred to the emergencies, crises and disasters prosecution after they were found to be organising and celebrating a wedding in violation of prescribed rules to curb the Covid-19 spread. 

Gatherings are breeding grounds for Covid-19, warns expert in UAE 

Children are back in schools, malls and shops have reopened, tourists are flying in, and everyone is enjoying the sun, sand and sea. Unfortunately, residents have let their guards down and are now hosting get-togethers and parties. As a result, cases have gone up. A top official had on Thursday explained that 88 per cent of the five-fold increase in daily Covid-19 cases were caused by gatherings. The UAE has defined a steep fine to deter gatherings, with Dh10,000 for anyone hosting gatherings and Dh5,000 for attendees. Wedding parties are allowed with four guests per table and a maximum of 10 from a single group. But recent reports suggest that rules related to social distancing and mask use are being flouted. 

Take PCR test in Abu Dhabi on day 6 or face fine 

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee reminded visitors and residents entering the emirate to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures, including a mandatory PCR test on day 6. Those falling to take the PCR test on day six will be liable to fines and legal proceedings. In a tweet, the Abu Dhabi media office pointed out that either a negative PCR or DPI test result from the previous 48 hours is required at entry point, besides a mandatory PCR test on the sixth consecutive day of stay in the emirate. This rule applies to all UAE residents, including returning Abu Dhabi residents, but does not apply to residents who did not leave the emirate. Volunteers in the Covid-19 vaccine trials are also exempt from these measures and are authorised to use emergency vehicles lanes while entering Abu Dhabi.

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Covid-infected Dubai youth fined Dh50,000 over quarantine breach video 

A Covid-infected youth, who breached home quarantine rules and posted a video showing him grabbing a cup of coffee, has been arrested in Dubai. According to Brigadier Jamal Salem Al Jallaf, Director of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at the Dubai Police, legal action has been taken against the youth and he has been put in quarantine. The man has also been given a fine of Dh50,000. “Not only did he violate home quarantine laws, he also deliberately bragged about his recklessness and published a video on social media platforms. His irresponsible action provoked public opinion as he endangered the lives of others,” Brig. Al Jallaf said.

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country’s parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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