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.

Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

Updated 20 September 2020

Iran dismisses US efforts at UN sanctions as currency drops

  • Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran

TEHRAN, Iran: Iran dismissed US efforts to restore all UN sanctions on the country as mounting economic pressure from Washington pushed the local currency down to its lowest level ever on Sunday.
Iran’s currency dropped to 272,500 to the US dollar at money exchange shops across Tehran.
The rial has lost more than 30 percent of its value to the dollar since June as sweeping US sanctions on Iran continue to crush its ability to sell oil globally. Iran’s currency was at 32,000 rials to the dollar at the time of Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which was signed by the Obama administration but which the Trump administration pulled the US from.
As the currency plummeted, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh slammed the Trump administration’s declaration Saturday that all UN sanctions against Iran have been reimposed because Tehran is not complying with the nuclear deal.
The US move has been rejected as illegal by most of the rest of the world and sets the stage for an ugly showdown at the world body ahead of its annual General Assembly this week.
Even before the US declaration, other Security Council members had vowed to ignore it. They say the US lost legal standing to invoke snapback sanctions when President Donald Trump withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and began reimposing US sanctions on Iran.
The Iranian government spokesman said the snapback sanctions have only happened in “the fantastical world” of the Trump administration. He said the US stands on the wrong side of history.
“They are attempting to make everyone believe it, but nobody is buying it except for themselves,” Khatibzadeh said during his weekly press briefing on Sunday.
“It is a television show whose sole presenter, viewers and those cheering it on are Mr. Pompeo himself and a handful of others,” the spokesman said, referring to the US secretary of state.
“Tehran’s message to Washington is clear: return to the international community, return to your commitments and stop bullying so the international community will accept you,” he added.
The White House plans to issue an executive order on Monday spelling out how the US will enforce the restored sanctions, and the State and Treasury departments are expected to outline how foreign individuals and businesses will be penalized for violations.
Tensions are running high between Iran and the US, particularly since a US strike in January killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad, prompting Tehran to retaliate with a ballistic missile strike on Iraqi bases housing American troops.