Dubai to resume economic activity and allow free movement from Wednesday

Dubai will ease restrictions for business and movement during the day after malls were reopened last month. (AFP/File photo)
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Updated 27 May 2020

Dubai to resume economic activity and allow free movement from Wednesday

  • Dubai Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan said shops and businesses can reopen between 6.00 a.m and 11.00 p.m.
  • People must wear masks and wash hands regularly

DUBAI: Dubai will allow free movement and business activity to restart during the day from Wednesday, Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said on Monday.
Restrictions will remain in place however from between 11.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m., the Dubai Media Office said in a press release.


“I chaired a remote meeting of the Supreme Committee for Crisis and Disaster Management in Dubai, and after a comprehensive evaluation of the health, economic and social dimensions, we adopted a decision to resume the economic movement from 6.00 a.m. to 11.00 p.m., starting on Wednesday May 27,” Sheikh Hamdan said in a tweet.


He added: “We require the various concerned authorities to intensify their awareness-raising efforts and ensure that everyone at the institutional and individual levels adheres to preventive measures and instructions aimed at ensuring the health and safety of our society.”

The Media Office tweeted a list of businesses which will be allowed to reopen and operate according to the new hours, including gyms, cinemas and entertainment attractions. All reopened services will have to abide by rules and regulations which curb the spread of coronavirus, such as keeping a 2-meter distance between customers and frequent disinfection.

Last month, Dubai allowed malls to reopen at limited capacity during Ramadan that began on April 24. Dubai has also allowed dine-in restaurants and cafes to resume business at 30 percent capacity and public parks to reopen with restrictions.
“We realize the pressures that many sectors have been exposed to due to the global crisis caused by the emerging coronavirus ... but the UAE community always remains stronger than all challenges, and we are able to deal positively with the changes thanks to the great flexibility that characterizes the performance of most of our sectors,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Dubai Media Office urged residents to “take into account all preventive instructions to ensure the safety of society.”
The instructions include maintaining social distancing, and a 14 day quarantine for those returning from abroad. People must also use face masks at all times and adhere to constant santization.
Children under the age of 12, people over 60 and those that have illnesses or are considered at high risk are not permitted to enter commercial, recreation and education centers, including cinemas.

Those who breach the rules will be subjected to a fine or penalty, depending on the breach, the office added.
Some of the businesses permitted to resume economic activities are airports, clinics, schools and colleges, cinemas, sports academies, and leisure activities in Dubai Mall.



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Iraqi MP dies of COVID-19 as cases jump 600%

Updated 16 sec ago

Iraqi MP dies of COVID-19 as cases jump 600%

  • Ghida Kambash, 46, was a three-time MP from Baquba
  • Iraq’s health ministry has declared around 70,000 coronavirus cases, of whom nearly 3,000 have died and 40,000 recovered

BAGHDAD: Iraqi lawmaker Ghida Kambash died Friday after contracting the novel coronavirus, parliament announced, its first member to succumb to the virus as its spread ramps up across the country.
The 46-year-old was a three-time MP from Baquba, northeast of Baghdad, and helped pass laws on education reform and social welfare.
She leaves behind four children.
Last month, parliament speaker Mohammed Al-Halbussi said up to 20 deputies were confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19.
In total, Iraq’s health ministry has declared around 70,000 coronavirus cases, of whom nearly 3,000 have died and 40,000 recovered.
After seeing a relatively slow spread in the first five months of 2020, cases spiked 600 percent in June alone, according to the International Rescue Committee.
“The rate at which COVID-19 is spreading through Iraq is extremely alarming,” said Christine Petrie, IRC’s country director.
The country’s health system — already worn down by years of war and poor investments — has been overwhelmed by the rising numbers.
Protective equipment, respirators and even hospital beds are all running low, forcing authorities to turn expo centers, stadiums and hotels into coronavirus wards and confinement centers.
Particularly stark is the “severe shortage of oxygen,” according to the World Health Organization, which recently airlifted 300 oxygen concentrators to help Iraqi hospitals cope.
Aid has also been donated from foreign countries, most recently Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the US.
Still, footage shot in hospitals in Iraq’s south shows patients struggling to breathe without access to respirators as their family members berate health staff.
Health Minister Dr. Hassan Salman was in the southern province of Diwaniyah on Friday to inspect hospital conditions there.
Iraq relaxed its curfew measures in recent weeks after imposing a strict country-wide lockdown in late March.
The restrictions hit its fledgling private sector hard, with an IRC survey finding that 87 percent of Iraqis were out of work as a result of the lockdown and 61 percent were already going into debt.
“Once things stabilize there will be a lot of work to do to help people get back on their feet,” said Petrie.
“Their loss of livelihoods will have taken a heavy toll on people’s mental health, which was already in a fragile state after decades of conflict and instability.”