UAE reports 3,243 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths

A worker examines a gate system made by Guard ME that conducts temperature checks and fogs disinfectants on users, in Dubai, UAE. (File/AP)
A worker examines a gate system made by Guard ME that conducts temperature checks and fogs disinfectants on users, in Dubai, UAE. (File/AP)
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Updated 14 January 2021

UAE reports 3,243 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths

UAE reports 3,243 new COVID-19 cases, 6 deaths
  • UAE says 2,454 have recovered over the past 24 hours
  • Kuwait records 494 cases and 1 death, Bahrain reports 316 cases

DUBAI: The UAE on Tuesday recorded 3,243 new COVID-19 cases, double that of two weeks ago, and six deaths related to the virus.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said the total number of cases since the pandemic began had reached 236,225, while the death toll rose to 717.
It also said that 2,195 people had recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours. The total number of recoveries is 210,561.
MoHAP said it had has vaccinated 1.276 million people so far, as part of its initiative to vaccinate half of the country’s 9.6 million population by April and 70 percent by the end of the year.
Praising the UAE’s vaccination campaign, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid said: “The UAE has made great strides in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, we are ranked the second globally in the rate of vaccine administration. Taking the vaccine is every individual’s responsibility to protect their health, families and wider society.”
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed also commended the country’s efforts to vaccinate more than one million citizens and residents, saying: “We hope that with vaccinations picking up pace we will reach the point of full recovery in the shortest possible time.”

The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA) — the largest health care network in the UAE — announced the opening of two COVID-19 vaccination centers in the emirate and one in Dubai to provide more opportunities to people to receive the vaccine.
“The centers were established and equipped in a record time of four days, after the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced the registration of the vaccine, making the UAE among the first countries in the world to launch a campaign to vaccinate the community against COVID-19.
Both centers in Abu Dhabi have the capacity to administer 6,000 doses per day at each sites, while the one in Dubai, located at the SEHA field hospital in Dubai Parks and Resorts, is able to vaccinate 3,000 people a day.
Health ministry spokesperson Farida Al-Hosani said that the vaccine is currently one of the most important solutions available to reduce the impact of the virus and its severity.
“After reviewing the statistics for the numbers registered inside the country, we noticed an accelerated increase in the number of coronavirus infections,” she told a press conference, adding “this increase is due to many reasons, the most important of which is the increase in local transmissions and in cases coming from outside the country.”
She said the health sector had proven its ability to deal with the pandemic and had increased it capabilities in hospitals, health centers and laboratories.
During daily inspection tours, Dubai Economy issued fines to two commercial establishments and warnings to four others for failing to adhere to anti-COVID-19 measures. Inspection teams found 490 other businesses to be compliant.
Elsewhere, Kuwait reported 494 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number to 155,335. The death toll rose to 946 after one coronavirus-related death was reported in the previous 24 hours.

Oman’s health ministry confirmed 164 new cases and no deaths, bringing the totals to 130,944 and 1,508, respectively.

The sultanate’s Ministry of Education announced that students will return to schools from Jan. 17, while adhering to anti-coronavirus measure. 
In Bahrain, no deaths was reported, keeping the death toll to 356, while 316 new infected cases were confirmed.


Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
A military vehicle is stationed on the tarmac of Yemen’s Aden airport. Yemen says the Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace to the country. (File/AFP)
Updated 18 January 2021

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation

Yemen’s government vows to mitigate effects of Houthi terrorism designation
  • International community urged not to surrender to ‘blackmailing and intimidation’ 
  • Stockholm Agreement has failed to bring peace, Yemen PM said

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s prime minister has vowed to address any impact on humanitarian assistance or the remittances of citizens abroad following the US move to designate the Iran-backed Houthis as a terrorist organization.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed also urged the international community not to surrender to “Houthi blackmailing” and intimidation.
Saeed defended his government’s strong support of the designation during a virtual interview with foreign journalists sponsored by the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies.
He said that his government had formed a committee to handle any effects on the delivery of humanitarian assistance inside Houthi-controlled areas and the remittances of Yemenis abroad.
“We are determined to prevent any impact of the decision on the Yemenis. We have formed a committee to mitigate effects of the decision,” he said.
When the US announced its intention to designate the Houthi movement as a terrorist organization last week, Yemen’s government quickly urged the US administration to put the decision in place, predicting it would stop Houthi crimes and their looting of humanitarian assistance, and would smoothe the way for peace.
Referring to the impact of the US designation on peace talks between the Yemeni government and the Houthis, Saeed said that the decision would not undermine peace efforts. He said that the Houthis would be accepted as part of the Yemeni political and social spectrum when they abandoned hard-line ideologies and embraced equality and justice.

The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed.

Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed, Yemen’s prime minister

“This is an important pressure card on them and a real definition of them,” he said, adding that the Yemenis would not allow the Houthi movement to rule them.
“Yemen would not be ruled by a racist and terrorist group,” he said.
Formed under the Riyadh Agreement, Yemen’s new government’s ministers narrowly escaped death on Dec. 30 when three precision-guided missiles ripped through Aden airport shortly after their plane touched down.
The government accused the Houthis of staging the attack, saying that missile fragments collected from the airport showed that they were similar to missiles that targeted Marib city in the past.
The prime minister said that the Yemeni government had offered many concessions to reach an agreement to end the war. It had agreed to engage in direct talks with the Houthis in Stockholm in 2018 despite the fact that the Yemeni government forces were about to seize control of the Red Sea city of Hodeidah. However, the Stockholm Agreement had failed to bring peace to Yemen, he said.
“The government forces were about to capture the city within five days maximum. The Yemeni government agreed to go to Stockholm for reaching a solution to stop fighting and saving the city. This model has failed,” Saeed said.
In Riyadh, Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Friday appointed Ahmed Obeid bin Daghar, a former prime minister and a senior adviser to the president, as president of the Shoura Council.
Hadi also appointed Ahmed Ahmed Al-Mousai as the country’s new attorney general.
Fighting continues
Heavy fighting between Yemeni government forces and the Houthis broke out on Sunday for the third consecutive day in contested areas in the districts of Hays and Durihimi in the western province of Hodeidah. Official media said that dozens of Houthi rebels and several government troops were killed in the fighting and loyalists pushed back three assaults by Houthis in Durihimi district.
In neighboring Hays, the Joint Forces media said on Sunday that the Houthis hit government forces with heavy weapons before launching a ground attack in an attempt to seize control of new areas in the district.
The Houthis failed to make any gains and lost dozens of fighters along with several military vehicles that were burnt in the fighting, the same media outlets said. Heavy artillery shelling and land mines planted by the Houthis have killed more than 500 civilians since late 2018, local rights groups said.