Picture used for illustration.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
As directed by the UAE’S General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and health authorities, Smart Gates at Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) for all departing passengers will not be in operation, effective from Sunday.
This decision is due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak in the world, with UAE recording 45 cases.
In addition to closing the Smart Gates, thermal screening and nasal swab is being carried out by Dubai Health Authority (DHA) airport medical centre team at Dubai International Airport on passengers arriving from the following countries: Thailand, Lebanon, Syria, Italy, and People ’s Republic of China-Beijing.
Flights to and from Bahrain, Iran and China with the exception of Beijing have been temporarily suspended, in accordance with the directions of UAE’S General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).
Passengers travelling to Kuwait, via Dubai that are residents or have travelled to Bangladesh, Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria in the past 14-days will not be permitted to enter Kuwait.
Passengers should ensure they check with their airline before departure and visit the official websites of WHO or DHA for precautionary measures while travelling.
The laboratory diagnostic kits in the cargo will help screen thousands of people, further supporting the efforts to control the pandemic.
The embassy noted that it coordinated with UAE national carriers Emirates Airlines and Etihad Airways and Saudi national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines to operate flights for the next 72 hours according to the announced schedule. It commended in this regard the notable cooperation shown by officials of the national carriers in question.
Coronavirus concerns led Saudi Arabia to cut off air and sea travel with Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, Kuwait, Lebanon, South Korea, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. The kingdom had earlier closed off its land borders as well.
"We are deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity and by the alarming levels of inaction. We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic," WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a news conference on Wednesday.
The announcement underscores the success of the campaign, which aims to achieve herd immunity and ensure recovery from the pandemic. It also highlights the confidence in the safety and efficiency of the vaccines provided for free by the country to the entire community.
The brutal killing of Farah Hamzah Akbar, 32, whose body was dumped outside a hospital on Tuesday, caused shock waves in the country.
The Holy Month of Ramadan starts on Tuesday , April 13, in the UAE, the moon-sighting committee announced on Monday.