UAE reports 809 new Covid-19 cases, health minister begins vaccine trial

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Dubai Economy, in cooperation with the Dubai Tourism Department, said it had closed one cafe and issued seven violations and five warnings to several other establishments for not abiding by the precautionary measures. (File/Reuters)
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UAE Minister of Health and Prevention, Abdul Rahman Al-Owais, received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, after the UAE authorized its use for doctors and frontline workers. (WAM)
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Updated 19 September 2020

UAE reports 809 new Covid-19 cases, health minister begins vaccine trial

  • Kuwait records 521 cases and 1 death, Bahrain reports 690 cases, 3 deaths

DUBAI: The UAE on Saturday recorded 809 new cases of COVID-19 and one death.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the total number of infected cases since the pandemic began has reached 84,242, while the total deaths has reached 404.
A further 722 people recovered from COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, bringing the total to 73,512 recoveries.

The ministry said 103,000 new tests have been conducted on various groups of society, using the best and latest medical examination techniques.
The UAE health minister Abdul Rahman Al-Owais received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, after the UAE authorized the use of the vaccine for doctors and frontline workers.
The ministry said in a statement that the minister received the vaccine “in line with the ministry’s plan that was announced last week, which includes providing the coronavirus vaccine to specific groups in the first line of defense,” state news agency WAM reported.
Al-Owais said: “By presenting this vaccine, we seek to provide all safety measures for the heroes of the first line of defense and protect them from any dangers that they may face due to the nature of their work.”




UAE Minister of Health, Abdul Rahman Al-Owais, received the first dose of the coronavirus vaccine, after the UAE authorized its use for doctors and frontline workers. (WAM)

He added that the clinical trials of the vaccine conducted by the country’s health sector “showed positive results, and proved that it is safe and effective and will contribute to reducing the losses caused by the pandemic to preserve lives.”
The UAE began experiments on a vaccine for the novel COVID-19 in mid-July, which is produced by the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinopharma, and the experiments were conducted under the supervision of the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s health ministry.
The vaccine is included under the umbrella of the World Health Organization, and the UAE was chosen to conduct the experiments as it includes more than 200 nationalities.
Meanwhile, Dubai Economy, in cooperation with the Dubai Tourism Department, said it had closed one cafe and issued seven violations and five warnings to several other establishments for not abiding by the precautionary measures.
The cafe was closed as a performer was not wearing a face mask and the customers were not adhering to social distancing.

The authority said 660 entities out of the 673 inspected had met the precautionary measures set by the government.
Elsewhere, Kuwait recorded 521 new infected Covid-19 cases and one death during the past 24 hours, bringing the total number to 99,049 and 581 cases respectively.
The ministry of health said 8,970 cases remained active, with 96 in critical condition.

It also 722 cases had recovered from the virus, bringing the total to 89,498.
In Bahrain, 690 new cases, three deaths and 613 recoveries were reported.

The ministry said 6,959 cases remained active, while the total death toll had reached 220 and 56,700 cases had recovered from coronavirus.
Out of the active cases, 6916 were in stable condition and 43 were critical.


US officials: Iran sent emails intimidating American voters

Updated 22 October 2020

US officials: Iran sent emails intimidating American voters

  • Intelligence director: “These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries”

WASHINGTON: US officials accused Iran on Wednesday of being behind a flurry of emails sent to Democratic voters in multiple battleground states that appeared to be aimed at intimidating them into voting for President Donald Trump.
The announcement at a rare, hastily called news conference just two weeks before the election underscored the concern within the US government about efforts by foreign countries to spread false information meant to suppress voter turnout and undermine American confidence in the vote.
The activities attributed to Iran would mark a significant escalation for a nation that some cybersecurity experts regard as a second-rate player in online espionage, with the announcement coming as most public discussion surrounding election interference has centered on Russia, which hacked Democratic emails during the 2016 election, and China, a Trump administration adversary.
“These actions are desperate attempts by desperate adversaries,” said John Ratcliffe, the government’s top intelligence official, who, along with FBI Director Chris Wray, insisted the US would impose costs on any foreign countries that interfere in the 2020 US election and that the integrity of the election is still sound.
“You should be confident that your vote counts,” Wray said. “Early, unverified claims to the contrary should be viewed with a healthy dose of skepticism.”
Wray and Ratcliffe did not describe the emails linked to Iran, but officials familiar with the matter said the US has linked Tehran to messages sent to Democratic voters in at least four battleground states that falsely purported to be from the neo-fascist group Proud Boys and that warned “we will come after you” if the recipients didn’t vote for Trump.
The officials also said Iran and Russia had obtained voter registration data, though such data is considered easily, publicly accessible. Tehran used the information to send out the spoofed emails, which were sent to voters in states including Pennsylvania and Florida.
Ratcliffe said the spoofed emails were intended to hurt Trump, though he did not elaborate on how. An intelligence assessment released in August said: “Iran seeks to undermine US democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections. Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on online influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-US content.”
Trump, speaking at a rally in North Carolina, made no reference to the press conference but repeated a familiar campaign assertion that Iran is opposed to his reelection. He promised that if he wins another term he will swiftly reach a new accord with Iran over its nuclear program.
“Iran doesn’t want to let me win. China doesn’t want to let me win,” Trump said. “The first call I’ll get after we win, the first call I’ll get will be from Iran saying let’s make a deal.”
Both Russia and Iran also obtained voter registration information, though such data is considered easily, publicly accessible. Tehran used the information to send out the spoofed emails, which were sent to voters in states including Pennsylvania and Florida.
Asked about the emails during an online forum Wednesday, Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar said she lacked specific information. “I am aware that they were sent to voters in multiple swing states and we are working closely with the attorney general on these types of things and others,” she said.
While state-backed Russian hackers are known to have infiltrated US election infrastructure in 2016, there is no evidence that Iran has ever done so.
The voter intimidation operation apparently used email addresses obtained from state voter registration lists, which include party affiliation and home addresses and can include email addresses and phone numbers. Those addresses were then used in an apparently widespread targeted spamming operation. The senders claimed they would know which candidate the recipient was voting for in the Nov. 3 election, for which early voting is ongoing.
Federal officials have long warned about the possibility of this type of operation, as such registration lists are not difficult to obtain.
“These emails are meant to intimidate and undermine American voters’ confidence in our elections,” Christopher Krebs, the top election security official at the Department of Homeland Security, tweeted Tuesday night after reports of the emails first surfaced.