Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 22 October 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: UAE records 1,002 new Covid-19 cases

Authorities say 942 people were cleared of the virus while one patient died

The UAE reported 1,002 new cases of Covid-19 on Thursday, a day after it recorded the highest number of daily infections since the outbreak (1,083).

The cases were identified from 93,618 tests, conducted across the country over the past 24 hours.

Authorities said 942 people were cleared of the virus while one patient died.

Thursday's figures brought the country's tallies to 88,532 total infections, 77,937 recoveries and 407 deaths. At least 10,129 people across the Emirates currently have Covid-19 diagnosed.

Since the first cases were recorded in the UAE in January, more than 9 million tests have been carried out.

The cases were reported as the country resumed issuance of entry permits that had been suspended since March.

The Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship said tourists could now secure visas to travel to the UAE from Thursday.

The decision means Abu Dhabi and five other emirates will allow visitors back for the first time in about six months.

Dubai, which has its own immigration service and separate crisis authority, allowed tourists to return in early June.

ICA said a range of visas would be available with the exception of work permits, which are issued to new residents arriving to take up employment.

The move will allow non-residents with family living in the Emirates to apply for visas to visit their relatives and aims to boost the country's tourism sector.

Several of the emirates have different procedures for inbound and outbound passengers and safety measures, including mandatory testing and quarantining still apply.

Meanwhile, the UAE is working on inoculating front-line workers against Covid-19, following successful trials for a vaccine in Abu Dhabi.

On Thursday, Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed, member of the Executive Council and chairman of Abu Dhabi Executive Office, received the vaccine during a visit to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi.

He visited the hospital on the first day the vaccine was being administered to front-line workers to support the programme and encourage medical staff to take part.

Last week, the Ministry of Health and Prevention approved the use of the Covid-19 vaccine for front-line workers following successful clinical trials.

The health minister, Abdulrahman Al Owais, said the inactive vaccine could be used in "cases of emergency" involving healthcare staff. He said extensive tests involving tens of thousands of volunteers had shown the vaccine to be safe.

At the same time, a nationwide campaign to ensure precautionary measures are being met at home and in businesses is under way - in an effort to prevent case numbers from rising.

On Thursday, inspectors from Dubai Economy fined 24 businesses and warned five others for non-compliance with Covid-19 safety regulations.

Most of the businesses were fined because staff were not wearing face masks while seven were penalised for breaching physical distancing guidelines.

The businesses included electronics stores, clothing and perfume shops in Al Mamzar, Al Sabkha, Naif and Muhaisnah 4.

Overall, 655 inspected shops were found to be in full compliance with regulations.

Abu Dhabi Police said they issued 1,672 fines at several shopping malls and beaches in the emirate over the past two months.

Police said the main offences included not wearing face masks, not observing physical distancing and hosting gatherings above the maximum limits.

Updated: September 24, 2020 03:25 PM

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