Fines of up to Dh100,000 for breaking pool rules in Abu Dhabi



ABU DHABI // Public and private swimming pools will have to adhere to new regulations within the next few months, the municipality says.

There are about 1,000 pools in the emirate and existing laws already dictate how they are managed, safety measures, penalties for noncompliance and owner responsibility.

"Abu Dhabi Government has already signed the law which [regulates] swimming pools and we are expecting the government to sign the Executive Regulation by the first quarter of the year," said Khaleefa Al Romaithi, the public health director at Abu Dhabi Municipality.

Mr Al Romaithi did not give specific details about the new regulations, but failing to adhere to them will result in fines of between Dh200 and Dh100,000, he said. His department can also shut pools.

The Olympic-sized pool at the Armed Forces Officers Club and Hotel attracts hundreds of swimmers every day.

"Having an Olympic-sized pool demands Olympic standards," said John Noronha, the environmental, health and safety manager at the club.

The daily cleaning process requires the pool to be "vacuumed" and the water chemically tested. The water is also tested every hour for contaminants.

Both the Olympic and children's pool are tested for total plate count - to determine how hygienic the water is - and total coliform count , which checks the level of faecal contamination.

There are also tests for E.coli, pseudomonas aeruginosa - a bacteria that can cause serious infection in those with compromised immune systems - faecal streptococcus and legionella, the bacteria that causes the pneumonia-like Legionnaires' disease.

"The pool is cleaned during the night, from midnight until about three or four in the morning," said Sajeev PV, the executive supervisor of recreation.

Whether inside or outside, it is easy to tell if a pool is not maintained properly, Mr Sajeev added.

"The water becomes thick. And sometimes, if a pool is not cleaned, people will get a cold and cough."

Dirty water is a hotbed of infection and disease, said Dr Mushtak Al Saadi, a family medicine specialist at the Al Bandar branch of the HealthPlus Family Health Centre.

"The most common [infection] is diarrhoea, but jaundice and hepatitis A can also [spread]," he said, and faecal contamination is the most likely factor in spreading germs.

Otitis externa - better known as swimmer's ear, which leads to swelling and redness of the external ear canal - and skin infections can also result from swimming in an unclean pool.

The Officers Club pool also undergoes regular spot checks from Abu Dhabi Municipality employees, who test their own water samples.

While the pool at Abu Dhabi Country Club is less busy, the level of care employed in keeping it clean is as high, said Oxana Yakubna, the front-office manager.

The adult, children's and indoor pool have chlorine pH levels checked three times a day.

Ramona Matei Demea, a supervisor at the Officers Club pool, said the public often disregarded important health precautions, such as showering before entering the pool.

"It's important because you are coming from outside. The temperature of the body is different [from the pool water]," she said. "It's for blood circulation, it is healthy. It's not [just] about bringing in contamination, it's about health."

Swimmers should also inform lifeguards of any conditions such as epilepsy, Ms Demea added.

"Sometimes they go to the jacuzzi [and are epileptic] and they faint." People will also try to enter the pool with open wounds, she said.

Dr Al Saadi agreed that personal hygiene was the most important consideration.

"We do not get the bacteria in the water from nowhere - it comes from us. From people using a swimming pool. Even the best disinfectant cannot kill all bacteria."

Public pools in Abu Dhabi should also be manned by lifeguards. There are six lifeguards at Abu Dhabi Country Club, with three – not including pool attendants – assigned to each shift, said Ms Yakubna. All staff are appropriately trained, she said.

Even after the last swimmer has left – the pool closes at 8pm – the lifeguards stay until 11pm, when the nearby restaurant closes.

Drowning is said to be the third leading cause of accidental death among children in the UAE.

"You are in charge of a life," Ms Yakubna said. "It’'s not just come, finish your duty, and that's it."

What is dialysis?

Dialysis is a way of cleaning your blood when your kidneys fail and can no longer do the job.

It gets rid of your body's wastes, extra salt and water, and helps to control your blood pressure. The main cause of kidney failure is diabetes and hypertension.

There are two kinds of dialysis — haemodialysis and peritoneal.

In haemodialysis, blood is pumped out of your body to an artificial kidney machine that filter your blood and returns it to your body by tubes.

In peritoneal dialysis, the inside lining of your own belly acts as a natural filter. Wastes are taken out by means of a cleansing fluid which is washed in and out of your belly in cycles.

It isn’t an option for everyone but if eligible, can be done at home by the patient or caregiver. This, as opposed to home haemodialysis, is covered by insurance in the UAE.

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How to keep control of your emotions

If your investment decisions are being dictated by emotions such as fear, greed, hope, frustration and boredom, it is time for a rethink, Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at online trading platform IG, says.

Greed

Greedy investors trade beyond their means, open more positions than usual or hold on to positions too long to chase an even greater gain. “All too often, they incur a heavy loss and may even wipe out the profit already made.

Tip: Ignore the short-term hype, noise and froth and invest for the long-term plan, based on sound fundamentals.

Fear

The risk of making a loss can cloud decision-making. “This can cause you to close out a position too early, or miss out on a profit by being too afraid to open a trade,” he says.

Tip: Start with a plan, and stick to it. For added security, consider placing stops to reduce any losses and limits to lock in profits.

Hope

While all traders need hope to start trading, excessive optimism can backfire. Too many traders hold on to a losing trade because they believe that it will reverse its trend and become profitable.

Tip: Set realistic goals. Be happy with what you have earned, rather than frustrated by what you could have earned.

Frustration

Traders can get annoyed when the markets have behaved in unexpected ways and generates losses or fails to deliver anticipated gains.

Tip: Accept in advance that asset price movements are completely unpredictable and you will suffer losses at some point. These can be managed, say, by attaching stops and limits to your trades.

Boredom

Too many investors buy and sell because they want something to do. They are trading as entertainment, rather than in the hope of making money. As well as making bad decisions, the extra dealing charges eat into returns.

Tip: Open an online demo account and get your thrills without risking real money.

Anxiety and work stress major factors

Anxiety, work stress and social isolation are all factors in the recogised rise in mental health problems.

A study UAE Ministry of Health researchers published in the summer also cited struggles with weight and illnesses as major contributors.

Its authors analysed a dozen separate UAE studies between 2007 and 2017. Prevalence was often higher in university students, women and in people on low incomes.

One showed 28 per cent of female students at a Dubai university reported symptoms linked to depression. Another in Al Ain found 22.2 per cent of students had depressive symptoms - five times the global average.

It said the country has made strides to address mental health problems but said: “Our review highlights the overall prevalence of depressive symptoms and depression, which may long have been overlooked."

Prof Samir Al Adawi, of the department of behavioural medicine at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman, who was not involved in the study but is a recognised expert in the Gulf, said how mental health is discussed varies significantly between cultures and nationalities.

“The problem we have in the Gulf is the cross-cultural differences and how people articulate emotional distress," said Prof Al Adawi. 

“Someone will say that I have physical complaints rather than emotional complaints. This is the major problem with any discussion around depression."

Daniel Bardsley


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