UAE’s culture minister becomes latest govt official to receive coronavirus trial vaccine

UAE’s culture minister becomes latest govt official to receive coronavirus trial vaccine
UAE Minister of Culture and Youth, Noura Al-Kaabi, thanked the nurse for her work. (Instagram)
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Updated 17 October 2020

UAE’s culture minister becomes latest govt official to receive coronavirus trial vaccine

UAE’s culture minister becomes latest govt official to receive coronavirus trial vaccine
  • Noura Al-Kaabi received her vaccination the day after the foreign minister
  • Social media post shows the minister receiving the injection in her arm

DUBAI: The UAE’s Minister of Culture and Youth, Noura Al-Kaabi, has become the latest official in the country to receive the COVID-19 trial vaccine.

In her latest Instagram post, Al-Kaabi appears to be receiving the jab, with a message praising the nurse who administered the vaccination.

“Thank you Nurse Ozma, from Lahore! She’s been working in the UAE for the past 18 years.”

 

 

She follows the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan who received the vaccination on Friday and shared the news on his twitter account.

Al-Nahyan later said the vaccine was manufactured by Sinopharm in a tweet.

Last month, UAE issued emergency approval for the COVID-19 vaccine for frontline healthcare workers.

“The vaccine will be available to our first line of defense heroes who are at the highest risk of contracting the virus,” the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority said.

The vaccine is compatible with the country’s laws, the country’s Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman Al-Owais, who was also the first to receive a vaccine, said.

Its effective and has resulted in a “strong response” by generated antibodies in trial volunteers, the health minister said.

The UAE has reported 1,538 new coronavirus cases on Saturday, increasing total of infected people since the start of the pandemic to 114,387.


US to reduce staff at Baghdad embassy amid regional tensions

Updated 6 min 12 sec ago

US to reduce staff at Baghdad embassy amid regional tensions

US to reduce staff at Baghdad embassy amid regional tensions
  • US Ambassador Mathew Tueller said the reduction would not affect the mission’s work
  • A US official said the decision stems from concern about a possible Iranian retaliatory strike

BAGHDAD: The US is withdrawing some staff from its embassy in Baghdad, Iraqi and US officials said Thursday, temporarily reducing personnel amid regional security concerns.
US Ambassador Mathew Tueller said the reduction would not affect the mission’s work, adding that he will continue to carry out his duties from the embassy for the “foreseeable future.”
“I will do so with the support of a core team of American diplomats and US advisers to the Iraqi military,” he said in a video statement posted on the US Embassy’s Facebook page on Thursday evening following local reports that the US is withdrawing some Baghdad embassy staff as tensions with Iran and its allies spike.
It was not immediately clear how many personnel were to be withdrawn, nor did Tueller give any reasons.
A US official, however, said the decision stems from concern about a possible Iranian retaliatory strike on the first anniversary of the US airstrike that killed Iran’s top general, Qassim Soleimani, and senior Iraqi militia leaders near Baghdad’s airport in January. The killing sparked outrage and led Iraq’s parliament to pass a non-binding resolution days later calling for the expulsion of all foreign troops from Iraq.
The government later retreated from such threats, but Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi still faces pressure from Iran-aligned groups to eject US forces.
The US official, who was not authorized to give press statements and spoke on condition of anonymity, also cited concerns about possible Iranian retaliation for the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in Tehran last week.
Iran has accused US ally Israel of being behind the assassination. Israel, long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last decade, has repeatedly declined to comment on the attack.
The partial withdrawal from the embassy is taking place amid a drawdown of American troops from Iraq and Afghanistan announced by the outgoing Trump administration last month. In Iraq, the US plans to reduce the number of troops from 3,000 to 2,500 by mid-January, before Trump is to leave office.
An Iraqi government official said the Iraqi government was notified of a partial withdrawal of some staff from the US Embassy as a “precautionary and security step.” The official said that part of the withdrawals were partly due to staff finishing their rotations and others going on leave. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.
In September, the Trump administration warned Iraq that it will close its embassy in Baghdad if the government fails to take decisive action to end rocket and other attacks by Iranian-backed militias on American and allied interests in the country.