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Flights suspended, Malls closed, Vegetable & Fish markets were ordered to shutdown as UAE gears up to face the challeneges sparked by Corona …reports Asian Lite News, local news and newspaper comments for Asians Everywhere

UAE suspends all inbound, outbound passenger flights, transit of airline passengers for two weeks. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, and the General Civil Aviation Authority, GCAA, have decided to suspend all inbound and outbound passenger flights and the transit of airline passengers in the UAE for two weeks as part of the precautionary measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19.

The decision, which is subject to re-assessment, will take effect in 48 hours.

In a statement today, the GCAA said cargo and emergency evacuation flights would be exempt, taking into consideration all the precautionary measures adopted as per the recommendations of the Ministry of Health and Prevention.

“Additional examination and isolation arrangements will be taken later should flights resume in order to ensure the safety of passengers, air crews, and airport personnel and their protection from infection risks,” said the statement.

Malls Closed

The UAE government has decided to close all commercial centres, and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetables markets for a renewable period of two weeks.

In a statement today, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said the decision will take effect after 48 hours, and will be subject to review and re-assessment.

The decision excludes pharmacies, and food retail outlets, including cooperative societies, grocery stores, and supermarkets, along with fish, meat and vegetables markets dealing with wholesalers.

Under the decision, restaurants will not be allowed to receive customers. Instead, their services will be limited to home deliveries only.

Stimulus Package

The UAE Cabinet has approved an AED16 billion economic stimulus package as part of the Federal Government’s additional measures to support the national economy, ensure businesses continuity, and mitigate the coronavirus impact.

This came during a virtual meeting held under the chairmanship of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as a preventive measure to protect everyone from the Covid-19 coronavirus The latest financial support complements those announced recently by the emirates of Abu Dhabi and Dubai, along with that of the Central Bank of the UAE, taking to AED126.5 billion the total value of stimulus packages introduced since the COVID-19 outbreak to survive the current challenging conditions.

The measures include a renewable six-month suspension of work permit fees and reduction of labour and other charges to cut the cost of doing business, support small businesses and accelerate major infrastructure projects.

During the virtual meeting, Sheikh Mohammed said that the UAE government is ready to deal with all future circumstances, adding that the country will be part of the global efforts to contain COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our message for everyone is that we are completely ready to deal with all circumstances,” added Sheikh Mohammed. “Over the past 10 years, we have invested in smart learning, electronic and smart services to enhance our readiness for emergencies and disasters. Today we are reaping the fruits of our strenuous efforts as evidenced by the continuation of our educational process and basic government services. We are being proactive in dealing with global health conditions.”

Sheikh Mohammed also said: “Coronavirus is a health virus, an economic virus, and a political virus too… and we say to all the countries of the world: It is the time for unity, cooperation and solidarity to fight the worst enemy of humankind. All differences diminish in the face of this challenge and the world can overcome it faster if the strong stood with the weak and the rich with the poor.”

“We have adopted new systems in the banking, economic, and public sectors and provided a healthy infrastructure to deal with the worst possibilities. We have a national team that works around the clock.

We will safeguard the health of our society. We will protect our economy. We will protect education. We will cross such a global crisis with confidence,” His Highness noted.

Addressing the meeting, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, said the ministry is closely following up the conditions of Emirati students and citizens abroad to ensure their safe return.

He highlighted the country-level efforts to adopt the remote learning system launched today, affirming that no efforts are being spared to ensure the full readiness of all educational institutions to help students utilise the distance learning system in the best possible way.

Abdul Rahman bin Muhammad Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, affirmed the readiness of all the country’s health facilities to address the challenging situation in the most efficient manner.

Addressing the meeting, Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State, Chairman of the National Media Council, said,” Our wise leadership is keen on the safety of citizens and residents, and we encourage them to raise awareness of public health concepts, inspired by the leadership’s vision to face challenges and continue in the path to serve society and the nation towards achievements and excellence.”

He added, “Our wise leadership has invested in the humans, technology and advanced infrastructure, and has been keen to use the latest methods in management and leadership. This is an example of our readiness to ensure business continuity, no matter what the circumstances may be.”

PUBLIC TOLD TO STAY HOME

The UAE government has called upon the public to stay at home unless it’s absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or perform essential jobs.

In a joint statement tonight, the Ministry of Interior and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority urged UAE citizens, residents, visitors and all those living in the nation, to comply with the instructions and guidelines issued by competent health and security authorities, primarily limiting social contacts and avoiding crowded places to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“The public are also urged to use their own family cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle. They are also advised not to visit public places and maintain social distancing protocols during family gatherings as part of the precautionary measures taken to ensure public health and safety,” added the statement.

The two authorities also urged everyone not to visit hospitals except for critical or emergency cases and to use face masks.

“Additional instructions will be issued later involving the use of public transport, taxis and other means of transportation,” said the statement.

The UAE law on communicable diseases, which includes fines and jail terms, will be enforced against all violators, added the statement.

 

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