A Nigerian health official uses a thermometer to screen a person at the arrival hall of the international airport in Lagos, Nigeria. Etihad Airways is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Sunday Alamba / AP Photo
A Nigerian health official uses a thermometer to screen a person at the arrival hall of the international airport in Lagos, Nigeria. Etihad Airways is closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West AfrShow more

Watchful UAE is free of Ebola virus



ABU DHABI // The UAE remains free of the deadly Ebola virus thanks to preventive measures the country has taken, according to the Ministry of Health.

There has yet to be a case of Ebola infection in the UAE, which is working with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to fight the disease, which has killed at least 961 people in the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Guinea, Liberia and Nigeria.

The ministry said national institutions were working together to fight the threat that Ebola posed, and they were staying in close contact with the WHO to keep abreast of the latest developments.

On Friday, an emergency committee convened by the director general of the WHO issued an international advisory, saying there should not be a general ban on international travel or trade.

It said all countries should provide travellers with information on the health risks, the measures to minimise them, and advice on managing potential exposure to the disease.

The committee said countries should be prepared to detect, investigate and manage Ebola cases, and provide access to diagnostic laboratories.

The Ministry of Health said it had enacted the procedures necessary to protect the UAE from the Ebola pandemic and was well prepared to deal with any such outbreak in the country.

Dr Asim Malik, Mafraq Hospital’s head of infectious diseases, said healthcare workers were taking all due precautions and that the authorities were being vigilant.

Residents with questions about Ebola could seek answers from institutions such as the Health Authority – Abu Dhabi or Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, he said.

“Washing your hands and maintaining hygiene are also recommended,” said Dr Malik.

Last week, The National reported that Emirates Airline had suspended its flights to Conakry, the capital of Guinea, where the Ebola outbreak has killed at least 367 people since March.

The airline said it had no immediate plan to suspend further flights. It said flights to Conakry would remain suspended indefinitely.

Etihad Airways said it was closely monitoring the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. It continues to operate its daily flights to and from Nigeria, and is in contact with medical authorities in the region and around the world regarding the potential risks.

Last Tuesday and Wednesday, West African countries reported 68 new cases of Ebola infections and 29 deaths.

On Monday, the WHO will convene a panel of experts on medical ethics to consider the use of experimental treatments to combat the Ebola threat. With a fatality rate of about 90 per cent, Ebola is one of the most virulent diseases in the world.

The virus is transmitted through direct contact with the blood, body fluids or tissues of infected people or animals.

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Total funding: $800,000
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Number of employees: 10

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Where to donate in the UAE

The Emirates Charity Portal

You can donate to several registered charities through a “donation catalogue”. The use of the donation is quite specific, such as buying a fan for a poor family in Niger for Dh130.

The General Authority of Islamic Affairs & Endowments

The site has an e-donation service accepting debit card, credit card or e-Dirham, an electronic payment tool developed by the Ministry of Finance and First Abu Dhabi Bank.

Al Noor Special Needs Centre

You can donate online or order Smiles n’ Stuff products handcrafted by Al Noor students. The centre publishes a wish list of extras needed, starting at Dh500.

Beit Al Khair Society

Beit Al Khair Society has the motto “From – and to – the UAE,” with donations going towards the neediest in the country. Its website has a list of physical donation sites, but people can also contribute money by SMS, bank transfer and through the hotline 800-22554.

Dar Al Ber Society

Dar Al Ber Society, which has charity projects in 39 countries, accept cash payments, money transfers or SMS donations. Its donation hotline is 800-79.

Dubai Cares

Dubai Cares provides several options for individuals and companies to donate, including online, through banks, at retail outlets, via phone and by purchasing Dubai Cares branded merchandise. It is currently running a campaign called Bookings 2030, which allows people to help change the future of six underprivileged children and young people.

Emirates Airline Foundation

Those who travel on Emirates have undoubtedly seen the little donation envelopes in the seat pockets. But the foundation also accepts donations online and in the form of Skywards Miles. Donated miles are used to sponsor travel for doctors, surgeons, engineers and other professionals volunteering on humanitarian missions around the world.

Emirates Red Crescent

On the Emirates Red Crescent website you can choose between 35 different purposes for your donation, such as providing food for fasters, supporting debtors and contributing to a refugee women fund. It also has a list of bank accounts for each donation type.

Gulf for Good

Gulf for Good raises funds for partner charity projects through challenges, like climbing Kilimanjaro and cycling through Thailand. This year’s projects are in partnership with Street Child Nepal, Larchfield Kids, the Foundation for African Empowerment and SOS Children's Villages. Since 2001, the organisation has raised more than $3.5 million (Dh12.8m) in support of over 50 children’s charities.

Noor Dubai Foundation

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum launched the Noor Dubai Foundation a decade ago with the aim of eliminating all forms of preventable blindness globally. You can donate Dh50 to support mobile eye camps by texting the word “Noor” to 4565 (Etisalat) or 4849 (du).

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Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo

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A plume of black smoke rose from a fuel storage facility in the village of Kalynivka outside Kyiv on Friday after Russia said it had destroyed the military site with Kalibr cruise missiles.

"On the evening of March 24, Kalibr high-precision sea-based cruise missiles attacked a fuel base in the village of Kalynivka near Kyiv," the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

Ukraine confirmed the strike, saying the village some 40 kilometres south-west of Kyiv was targeted.

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Museum of the Future in numbers
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  • 30,000 square metres is its total area
  • 17,000 square metres is the length of the stainless steel facade
  • 14 kilometres is the length of LED lights used on the facade
  • 1,024 individual pieces make up the exterior 
  • 7 floors in all, with one for administrative offices
  • 2,400 diagonally intersecting steel members frame the torus shape
  • 100 species of trees and plants dot the gardens
  • Dh145 is the price of a ticket

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