Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 4 July 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: UAE announces 796 new cases

Officials also recorded 603 new recoveries and more than 35,000 additional tests

Latest: UAE confirms 731 new cases on Sunday

UAE officials announced a further 796 cases of coronavirus on Saturday, bringing the country’s total to 22,627.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention also said it had conducted an additional 35,735 tests in the Emirates.

The figures showed that over the last 24 hours, 603 patients had recovered from the virus while four had died. To date, the UAE has recorded 7,931 recoveries and 214 fatalities.

As of May 16, 4.5 million cases of Covid-19 have been recorded globally, with 1.7m recoveries and more than 309,000 deaths, according to data analyst firm Worldometer.

During a press conference late on Saturday, UAE government officials said they were advising all residents to avoid big family gatherings and visits from relatives over Eid.

"We are aware of the importance of meeting with family during Eid ... let us give up a little of these customs and traditions this year," said Dr Amna Al Shamsi.

"We have no excuse to neglect the precautionary measures of physical distancing and the avoidance of gatherings.

"We urge the public to continue to follow health practices and abide by the measures taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus."

Earlier this weekend, officials in Abu Dhabi released a set of new guidelines to ensure the safe return of employees planning to head back to their places of work across the emirate.

The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development said the aim was to “promote business continuity” for private companies while ensuring the “health and safety of employees”.

Individuals who can continue to work effectively from home are encouraged to stay put for the time being.

But others whose jobs require them to be in offices or retail outlets can return, provided firms adhere to a series of measures designed to protect their health.

The ADDED said staff between the ages of 18 to 55 could return to work provided they did not suffer from any underlying health issues or live with anyone who did.

It also said that employers operating in the retail sector with more than 30 employees on site should install thermal cameras at shop entrances.

Staff must wear protective clothing and reduce contact with customers and colleagues. Transactions should done from behind a plastic or glass barrier via electronic payment methods.

Meanwhile on Saturday, dozens of pregnant women were repatriated safely home to India on a flight from Dubai.

The aircraft, destined for Kochi in the southwest coastal state of Kerala, took off with 181 passengers on board.

The 75 mums-to-be on the flight were accompanied by medical staff who were on hand to offer assistance if required.

The three-and-a-half hour flight is part of continuing efforts to ensure any Indian in the UAE wanting to return home because of coronavirus can do so.

“Today’s flight IX434 to Kochi is very different as it carries many pregnant women, 35 medical cases, senior citizens and a few who lost near-ones back in India,” said a tweet posted by the Consulate General of India in Dubai.

Elsewhere on Saturday, Italy's government announced it would allow travel to and from the country from June 3.

The decision marks a major easing in the country's Covid-19 lockdown measures, following more than two months of restrictions.

Italy has recorded one of the highest fatality rates in the world - at more than 31,600 people - but figures show the number of infection has dropped sharply over recent days.

Updated: May 18, 2020 08:03 AM

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