Italy thanks UAE’s Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for help fight against COVID-19

Tourists walk on June 22, 2020 by the Coliseum monument in Rome, as the country eases its lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of the COVID-19 infection, caused by the novel coronavirus. (AFP)
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Updated 22 June 2020

Italy thanks UAE’s Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak for help fight against COVID-19

  • Humanitarian and charitable institutions in Italy have also expressed their gratitude for her backing during the pandemic

ROME: The UAE’s Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak has been lauded in Italy for a donation toward helping elderly people in the country infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Italian daily newspaper Il Mattino said that during the health crisis Sheikha Fatima, who is president of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood in the UAE and honorary president of the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), had supported thousands of families affected by the pandemic in the cities of Naples, Assisi and Rome.

Humanitarian and charitable institutions in Italy have also expressed their gratitude for her backing during the pandemic, which has hit the Italian economy hard.

In conjunction with Zayed Humanitarian Day, which falls on the 19th day of Ramadan every year and aims to improve living conditions for the needy, Sheikha Fatima made a donation to elderly COVID-19 patients receiving treatment from charitable foundation Fondazione Montedomini, in Florence.

“We are grateful for Sheikha Fatima’s support for our foundation’s efforts to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic,” the charity said in a statement.

Omar Obaid Al-Shamsi, the UAE’s ambassador to Italy, said the charitable initiative was in line with the founding principles of his country’s policy to support people around the world during difficult times.

“Since the beginning of the health crisis in Italy, last March, the United Arab Emirates has been among the first nations to express full solidarity with those suffering from this adversity, in particular the elderly, children and women.

“The UAE contributed in a concrete way to the international efforts so that the infection could be stopped,” Al-Shamsi added.

Italian catholic charity, the Comunita di Saint Egidio, in Naples, the capital of the Campania region which is one of the poorest areas of Italy, has received substantial financial support from the UAE to help thousands of families experiencing financial difficulties due to the pandemic.

A Saint Egidio spokesman expressed “thanks and appreciation” to Sheikha Fatima for her humanitarian initiatives and care for needy families.

Stefania Proietti, the mayor of Assisi, received Al-Shamsi at Santa Maria Degli Angeli municipality and during their meeting extended her thanks to Sheikha Fatima for her generous donation.

Proietti praised the UAE’s solidarity with Italy in helping to combat the pandemic and said: “This act of generosity reflects the strong bonds of friendship between Italy and the UAE.”

Al-Shamsi also met with the mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, and presented her with 200 electronic tablets donated by Sheikha Fatima, who is also chairwoman of the General Women’s Union, and supreme chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation.

“The devices will be a great help for our educational institutions in Italy, allowing children from poor families which cannot afford to buy such electronic devices to follow online lectures,” said Raggi.

With schools in Italy having been closed since March due to the COVID-19 outbreak, e-learning has been the only way for students to receive an education.

WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of COVID-19

Updated 39 min 44 sec ago

WHO acknowledges ‘evidence emerging’ of airborne spread of COVID-19

  • WHO previously said the virus spreads through droplets expelled from the nose and mouth that quickly sink to the ground
  • New evidence shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in

GENEVA: The World Health Organization on Tuesday acknowledged “evidence emerging” of the airborne spread of the novel coronavirus, after a group of scientists urged the global body to update its guidance on how the respiratory disease passes between people.
“We have been talking about the possibility of airborne transmission and aerosol transmission as one of the modes of transmission of COVID-19,” Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, told a news briefing.
The WHO has previously said the virus that causes the COVID-19 respiratory disease spreads primarily through small droplets expelled from the nose and mouth of an infected person that quickly sink to the ground.
But in an open letter to the Geneva-based agency, published on Monday in the Clinical Infectious Diseases journal, 239 scientists in 32 countries outlined evidence that they say shows floating virus particles can infect people who breathe them in.
Because those smaller exhaled particles can linger in the air, the scientists are urging WHO to update its guidance.
Speaking at Tuesday’s briefing in Geneva, Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said there was evidence emerging of airborne transmission of the coronavirus, but that it was not definitive.
.”..The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings — especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” she said.
“However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this.”
Any change in the WHO’s assessment of risk of transmission could affect its current advice on keeping 1-meter (3.3 feet) of physical distancing. Governments, which rely on the agency for guidance policy, may also have to adjust public health measures aimed at curbing the spread of the virus.
Van Kerkhove said the WHO would publish a scientific brief summarising the state of knowledge on modes of transmission of the virus in the coming days.
“A comprehensive package of interventions is required to be able to stop transmission,” she said.
“This includes not only physical distancing, it includes the use of masks where appropriate in certain settings, specifically where you can’t do physical distancing and especially for health care workers.”