UAE extends national sterilization program in precautionary measure against coronavirus

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Updated 04 April 2020

UAE extends national sterilization program in precautionary measure against coronavirus

  • Local authorities in each emirate will develop sterilization plans and implement them across the cities
  • The program will continue to be scheduled from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. on a daily basis

DUBAI: The UAE’s National Sterilization Program will be extended as part of the country’s precautionary measures to combat the spread of coronavirus, state news agency  WAM reported on Saturday.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Ministry of Interior said local authorities in each emirate will develop sterilization plans and implement them across the cities.

The program will continue to be scheduled from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. on a daily basis. People are allowed to leave their homes during daytime. No further details were given on the extension of the program.

The UAE confirmed 240 new cases of coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the country to 1,264.

The health ministry also reported the death of a 51-year-old Asian man who had underlying health problems, bringing the total number of deaths from the virus to nine.

The ministry added that 12 patients had recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of cases who have recovered to 108.


Oman to set up investment authority to manage state assets

Updated 1 min 21 sec ago

Oman to set up investment authority to manage state assets

DUBAI: Oman is setting up the Oman Investment Authority to own and manage most of the country’s sovereign wealth fund and finance ministry assets, state TV reported on Thursday, citing a decree from the sultanate’s ruler.
The decree, issued by Sultan Haitham bin Tariq Al-Said, will allow the new authority to own all public assets except the Petroleum Development Oman company and government stakes in international institutions.
The investment authority will also replace sovereign wealth funds in the country’s official documents, the decree said.
Oman’s largest sovereign fund, the State General Reserve Fund, has assets of around $14 billion dollars while its second-largest fund, Oman Investment Fund, has around $3.4 billion, data from research group the Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute showed.
Oman, a small oil producer relative to its Gulf neighbors, is being hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.
Brent crude futures were trading at around $39 a barrel on Thursday, and Oman would need oil at $86.8 a barrel to balance its budget this year, the International Monetary Fund has estimated.
Oman is emerging as “an increasingly vulnerable spot in the region in light of its mounting debt,” the Institute of International Finance said, adding that Oman could experience a 5.3% economic contraction this year while its deficit could widen to 16.1% from 9.4% in 2019.
Oman Investment Authority board members will be appointed by Sultan Haitham, the decree said, adding that all employees of the sultanate’s two sovereign funds would transfer to the new entity.