UAE closes schools and colleges to combat the spread of coronavirus

Schools and colleges will closed from Sunday, March 8, 2020. (File/Shutterstock)
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Updated 04 March 2020

UAE closes schools and colleges to combat the spread of coronavirus

  • Schools will remain closed from March 8 while all facilities are sanitized
  • Students will be expected to learn from home, while adhering to class schedules and rules

DUBAI: The UAE’s education ministry has announced the closure of all schools and universities in the country – public and private – for four weeks in a bid to prevent the spread of COVID-19 – the strain coronavirus that has claimed more than 3,000 lives globally state news agency WAM reported.

Spring break was initially scheduled to run from March 29, 2020, to April 12, 2020 – but the ministry has instructed all schools and higher education establishments to close for four weeks from Sunday, March 8, 2020.

There have been 27 people identified as having the coronavirus in the UAE so far – six of whom were announced late Monday, March 3, 2020.

The latest cases include two Russians, two Italians, one German and one Colombian, all of whom have been connected to the two previously announced cases associated with the the UAE Tour cycling race.

During the closures the ministry will sterilize school and university facilities, in accordance with the international standards for health, safety and hygiene.

Students will be educated through a pilot program for distance education during the last weeks of the vacation “to ensure education continuity and to avoid any impact on school days,” the statement explained.

The ministry has called on parents to “create an appropriate learning environment at home by providing computers and internet services.”

Parents are also advised to encourage students to adhere to the class schedule approved by teachers, and to adhere to the rules, such as the ban on the use of non-learning related web browsing and photography.


Syria Kurdish-led force launches new anti-Daesh campaign

Updated 46 min 56 sec ago

Syria Kurdish-led force launches new anti-Daesh campaign

  • Operations will focus on the vast east Syria desert near the border with Iraq

BEIRUT: US-backed Kurdish fighters in Syria announced Friday a fresh campaign to hunt down remnants of the Daesh group near the Iraqi border following a recent uptick in attacks.
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a Kurdish-led paramilitary alliance that has spearheaded the ground fight against Daesh in Syria since 2015, said that the new campaign is being carried out in coordination with the Iraqi army and the US-led coalition.
“This campaign will target ISIS’s hideouts and hotbeds,” it said, using a different acronym for the militant group.
It said operations will focus on the vast east Syria desert near the border with Iraq where Daesh has conducted a spate of attacks in recent months.
Since the loss of its last territory in Syria in March 2019, Daesh attacks have been restricted to the vast desert that stretches from the heavily populated Orontes valley in the west all the way to Iraqi border.
It regularly targets SDF forces and has vowed to seek revenge for the defeat of its so-called “caliphate”.
The SDF, with backing from its coalition allies, launched a campaign to hunt down sleeper cells after it forced Daesh militants out of their last Syrian redoubt in the desert hamlet of Baghouz in March 2019.
A raid in October by US special forces killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the militant group which once controlled large swathes of territory in both Iraq and Syria.
Last month, the United Nations accused the Daesh group and others in Syria of exploiting the COVID-19 pandemic to step up violence on civilians, describing the situation as a “ticking time-bomb”.
Across the border in Iraq, Daesh has exploited a coronavirus lockdown, coalition troop withdrawals and simmering political disputes to ramp up attacks.
Iraq declared Daesh defeated in late 2017 but sleeper cells have survived in remote northern and western areas, where security gaps mean the group wages occasional attacks.
They have spiked since early April as militants plant explosives, shoot up police patrols and launch mortar and rocket fire at villages.