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Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: Recoveries continue to rise; 10-year visa for 90 doctors; vaccine trial for UAE residents

A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country. Here’s a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know: UAE reports 211 new Covid-19 cases, 352 recoveries, 1 deathThe UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday reported 211 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 352 recoveries. One new…

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Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: Recoveries continue to rise; 10-year visa for 90 doctors; vaccine trial for UAE residents

A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.

Here’s a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:
UAE reports 211 new Covid-19 cases, 352 recoveries, 1 deathThe UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Sunday reported 211 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 352 recoveries. One new death was also reported. As many as 47,000 new Covid-19 tests have also been carried out, the ministry added.mThe ministry affirmed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. The UAE has stolen a march over other countries in the quest for a vaccine against Covid-19 with the launch of the final phase 3 human trials. Coordination is underway to open registration for nationals and residents across the UAE who wish to volunteer for Phase III clinical trials of inactivated vaccine. 90 frontline doctors in Dubai get 10-year visaNinety doctors in Dubai have been added to the list of Covid-19 frontliners who were granted golden visas in the UAE. Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital on Sunday confirmed that 90 of their doctors were given the 10-year residence visas in appreciation of their efforts and dedication as they treated patients amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Announced last year, the golden visa is a 10-year permanent residency visa granted to doctors, scientists, innovators, researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs who have made a mark in their sectors. In May this year, 212 expat doctors at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) received the same visa, based on a directive issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Soon, residents across UAE can volunteer for Covid-19 vaccine trialCoordination is underway to open registration for nationals and residents across the UAE who wish to volunteer for Phase III clinical trials of inactivated vaccine, according to an update from the Abu Dhabi Media office. Details of locations for receiving volunteers would be published soon by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, it added. The update broadens the scope of those who can volunteer for the trials, which are a world first and which were initially announced for residents of Abu Dhabi and Al Ain only. Interested volunteers were invited to register via the www.4humanity.ae website. Ajman restarts bus services to DubaiThe Government of Ajman’s Transport Authority has announced the resumption of public bus services between Ajman and Dubai. Ajman Transport announced on Twitter and facebook that, starting Sunday, commuters and visitors can take the bus from Ajman to Union Metro Station, Rashidiya Metro Station, and Al Qusais Metro Station in Dubai. Buses to all three locations will depart every one hour. Ajman Transport also announced that the service will be available every day from 6am to 10pm. Tickets are priced at Dh15 per person and passengers need to use their Massar card. The cards can be topped up online at the Ajman Transport Authority’s website, or passengers can download and use the Massar app. The app allows users to make cashless payments, instantly book bus tickets and recharge their Masar cards that can be read and processed by touching the card to the back of an Android phone. 100% of Sharjah government employees return to workplacesGovernment employees across Sharjah returned to work at 100 per cent capacity from Sunday, July 19 as the emirate works to return to normality following the restrictions put in place to combat the spread of Covid-19. Dr. Tariq Sultan bin Khadem, Member of the Sharjah Executive Council and Chairman of the Sharjah Human Resources Directorate (SHRD), said that 100 per cent of the employees will return on Sunday, July 19, to their workplaces in the departments and entities and institutions of the Sharjah Government, in line with the directives of the Sharjah Executive Council, and based on the circular issued by the Directorate.
Ismail Sebugwaawo

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Middle East News

Children killed in attack on Cameroonian school

Assailants storm private school in city of Kumba, Southwest Region, killing at least four students.Attackers have opened fire on a private school in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, killing at least four children, according to officials. The unknown assailants stormed the Mother Francisca School in the city of Kumba on Saturday. There was no immediate claim of…

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Children killed in attack on Cameroonian school

Assailants storm private school in city of Kumba, Southwest Region, killing at least four students.Attackers have opened fire on a private school in Cameroon’s Southwest Region, killing at least four children, according to officials.
The unknown assailants stormed the Mother Francisca School in the city of Kumba on Saturday. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
“They attacked around noon. They found the children in a class and they opened fire on them,” Kumba sub-prefect Ali Anougou told the Reuters news agency.
At least nine other students were wounded and sent to the hospital. There were fears the death toll could rise.
The Associated Press news agency quoted Anougou as blaming separatists who have been fighting the military in parts of western Cameroon for the attack.

Cameroon’s two Anglophone regions – the Northwest and Southwest Regions – are home to a large minority of English speakers in a country where French speakers are the overwhelming majority – a situation that is the legacy of the decolonisation of western Africa by France and Britain more than 60 years ago.
In late 2016, long-standing complaints of political and economic discrimination against English speakers by the central government spilled over when lawyers, students and teachers began calling for reforms.
The government’s lethal response to the protests provoked rebels to declare in 2017 independence for a region they call “Ambazonia”, triggering a stronger crackdown by the authorities.
Both sides have since been accused of committing atrocities in a conflict that has killed some 3,000 people and forced hundreds of thousands of people from their homes.
Anglophone secessionists have imposed curfews and closed schools as part of their protest against President Paul Biya’s government.
Last year, officials blamed separatists for kidnapping dozens of schoolchildren, charges the separatists denied.

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Vietnamese envoy hails KRCS’ global humanitarian efforts

KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer meets Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh. – KUNAKUWAIT: Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh hailed the humanitarian efforts of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) around the world. The remarks were made to KUNA yesterday after the ambassador’s meeting with KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer. He expressed appreciation…

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Vietnamese envoy hails KRCS’ global humanitarian efforts

KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer meets Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh. – KUNAKUWAIT: Vietnamese Ambassador to Kuwait Trinh Minh Manh hailed the humanitarian efforts of Kuwait Red Crescent Society (KRCS) around the world. The remarks were made to KUNA yesterday after the ambassador’s meeting with KRCS Chairman Dr Hilal Al-Sayer. He expressed appreciation for the society’s aid to the Vietnamese Embassy during the coronavirus crisis.

The ambassador added that they discussed providing his country with aid to face the impact of the recent floods and landslides, considered to be the worst in decades. Sayer said he was pleased with the ambassador’s visit and affirmed that KRCS will continue exerting humanitarian efforts to aid those affected by natural disasters and crises everywhere. – KUNA

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Pain, frustration: Expats lose jobs to new rules and COVID

File photos show foreign workers applying to leave Kuwait during the amnesty. – Photos by Yasser Al-ZayyatBy Chidi Emmanuel After working for 24 years in Kuwait, Charley Lyon received the dreaded letter that many expats fear amid the economic downturn, coronavirus pandemic and new residency laws. Lyon is among thousands of expat workers in the…

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Pain, frustration: Expats lose jobs to new rules and COVID

File photos show foreign workers applying to leave Kuwait during the amnesty. – Photos by Yasser Al-ZayyatBy Chidi Emmanuel

After working for 24 years in Kuwait, Charley Lyon received the dreaded letter that many expats fear amid the economic downturn, coronavirus pandemic and new residency laws. Lyon is among thousands of expat workers in the government sector who were being laid off.

As part of its Kuwaitization policy, Kuwait is replacing expats with locals in the government sector. The government has also stopped issuing work permits to expats over 60 years of age without a university degree. These new rules have had a huge impact on the lives of thousands of expats in the country, leaving many with no choice but to pack their bags and leave.

Gulf countries are facing an exodus of foreign workers as the coronavirus pandemic pushes out foreign workers. In the midst of the COVID-19 and financial crunch, the National Assembly approved a draft law to slash expat numbers over the next five years.

As the budget deficit widens and economic conditions worsen, Kuwait is grappling with an economic downturn as COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world. The combined shock of collapsing oil prices, the pandemic and joblessness is reshaping labor policies in the region, thus bringing anti-foreigner sentiments to the fore again.

While Kuwait’s expats struggle to secure their jobs, the government is calling for an increase in workforce nationalization in government entities. “Why will foreigners take the jobs meant for us (Kuwaitis)? They can work anywhere – but not in the ministries,” argued Abdullah, a 26-year-old Kuwaiti.

Buttressing Abdullah’s viewpoint, Fatma, an unemployed Kuwaiti woman, complained of the difficulty in competing with foreign workers for jobs in the private sector. “Foreign workers can work longer for less, unlike us Kuwaitis. So most companies prefer to hire non-Kuwaitis. This leaves us with only one sector (the public sector). I think this is why the government introduced Kuwaitization, so as to give unemployed Kuwaitis an opportunity,” she explained.

For Lyon, justice and fairness should override anti-expat sentiments. “It is understandable that ministries would give preference to locals for jobs during these tough times, but it would be fair to consider the efforts of the old staff who have put in their best to build this country,” Lyon, 61, and some of his co-workers who were laid off recently lamented, as they worry about their future.

Expats make up the majority of the population of Kuwait. Residency is tied to employment and Kuwait does not easily offer citizenship routes to non-nationals. “We have been here (in Kuwait) legally for over 20 years. It will be difficult to go back and start afresh in our home countries. More so, Kuwait’s residency is linked to the work permit – when you lose your job, you automatically lose your residency. I worry about my children who are still in school. The three-month notice will not be enough to relocate them,” Mustapha, an Egyptian expat who recently lost his job, said in dismay.

Abdurazak Hamad, an African expat, is in a dilemma. “I feel miserable leaving my family behind. I don’t want to go alone, but I can’t make my wife quit her KD 450 job since she is now the sole breadwinner. Starting afresh in my home country at this age (62) will be very difficult. I wish I can get a permit (residency) to stay here with my family,” said Hamad, who was recently sacked.

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