Merkel: European ministers to discuss Strait of Hormuz naval mission

Helicopters aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer in the Strait of Hormuz. The US has called for a coalition to protect shipping in the region. (US Navy via Reuters)
Updated 14 August 2019

Merkel: European ministers to discuss Strait of Hormuz naval mission

  • Britain last week joined the United States in a maritime security mission in the Gulf
  • EU foreign ministers and defense ministers are due to hold informal meetings in Helsinki in late August

BERLIN: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday she believed the idea of a European naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz would be discussed again at informal meetings of European foreign and defense ministers in Finland later this month.
“I think the question of a European mission will be discussed there again because this discussion has not yet taken place everywhere and so I believe that the Finnish presidency will play a coordinating role on that,” Merkel told a news conference after meeting visiting Lithuanian President Gitanas Nauseda.
EU foreign ministers and defense ministers are due to hold informal meetings in Helsinki in late August. Finland took over the EU’s rotating presidency on July 1.
Britain last week joined the United States in a maritime security mission in the Gulf to protect merchant vessels traveling through the Strait of Hormuz after Iran seized a British-flagged vessel. Two weeks beforehand, Britain had called for a European-led naval mission.
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has said that Germany will not join a US-led naval mission in the Strait of Hormuz and that it favors a European mission but he has also warned it was rather difficult to make progress on that.


UAE examines thousands for COVID-19, opens new drive-through test facilities

Updated 10 April 2020

UAE examines thousands for COVID-19, opens new drive-through test facilities

  • The UAE has tested 40,000 people in the last two days for COVID-19
  • There have been a further 13 drive-through test facilities opened in the UAE

DUBAI: The UAE has tested more than 40,000 people for the coronavirus in the last two days, the Ministry of Health and Prevention confirmed on Sunday.

The continued increase in tests led to the detection of 331 new cases in the country, bringing the total number of people infected in the UAE to 2,990.

The number of fatalities has increased after the death of two people - both who had pre-existing health conditions - bringing the death toll to 14, the ministry added.

Meanwhile there have been more people recovering from COVID-19, the latest being 29 people making a full recovery, bring that total to 268.

The UAE continues to open drive-through testing facilities in the country.

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, opened 13 of the new faciltities.

“In collaboration with our strategic partners across the UAE, SEHA has equipped all drive-through centers with the most advanced testing systems, techniques and globally-accredited health care teams,” said Group Deputy Chief Executive Officer, SEHA, Rashid Al-Qubaisi.

He said that all centers were equipped with the latest in testing systems and medical devices.

“There are 630 of the most experienced and qualified medical professionals from SEHA’s network, staffing the centers,” he added.

The test at the drive-through facilities take five minutes.

There are seven drive-through testing centers have opened, so far, in Abu Dhabi, with three in Abu Dhabi City, Al Wathba and Al Bahia – they are open between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., from Sunday to Thursday.

There are also two in Al Ain in the Asharj and Al Hili areas.

People can book an appointment through the SEHA hotline on 800 1717 or alternatively the SEHA smartphone app.

Both callers and users of the app be asked a series of questions to help evaluate their condition, and then given an appointment for a test.

Al-Qubaisi said priority will be given to people exhibiting symptoms of the virus, or those most vulnerable to the infection including pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities and those suffering from chronic illnesses.

The test costs $100.