Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
With the end of Coronavirus-2019 (COVID-19) blurry, events continue to be shelved to a later date and community areas temporarily shut down.
Establishments have become creative too in devising digital plans to remain in contact with the public advised to limit movement.
The quiet began mid-week last week after the March 11 press conference of World Health Organization (WHO) director general Tedros Adhanom on COVID-19 having become a pandemic, considering the “13-fold rise” in cases (118,000 in 114 countries) since late Dec. 2019 in Wuhan, China, “thousands more fighting for their lives in hospitals,” and the “alarming levels of inaction.”
On Sunday, the Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) Twitter account carried three notifications, following the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing and the Department of Economic Development in Dubai directives on the suspension of all crowd-drawing activities as well as the impermanent closure of entertainment destinations, hospitality businesses and wedding halls in the emirate, effective March 15 (Sunday).
“.@DMunicipality temporarily closes all public parks and entertainment destinations in line with the precautionary measures to safeguard public health, starting today (March 15, 2020) until further notice. #Dubai. plc.twitter.com/CMcZ9Fe.”
“.@DubaiCulture and Arts Authority announces the temporary closure of museums, historical sites and public libraries in #Dubai with immediate effect from today (Sunday 15 March, 2020) till the end of the month.plc.twitter.com/DtTrsYb...”
“In line with ongoing efforts to safeguard public health, Global Village has announced the early closure of its 2019-2020 season with immediate effect. The @GlobalVillageAE looks forward to welcoming visitors for its next season. #Dubai plc.twitter.com/InaHMKA…”
On Sunday, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX) chief executive Khalifa Al Mansouri said: “During this public health emergency currently experienced worldwide, it is prudent to take pre-emptive and coordinated precautionary measures in a prompt manner. Aligned with the (WHO) recommendations to restrict public gatherings, ADX has decided to close access to its trading halls from today (March 15). (We) aim to limit risks of person-to-person transmission out of public health concern.”
He urged clients to use the ADX “digital investor service integrated platform ‘Sahmi’ that empowers users to carry out all daily operations online.”
Also in the capital, Warehouse 421 shut its doors from Sunday with general manager Faisal Al Hassan, saying: “We are dedicated to the growth of our community which inherently makes the health and safety of our visitors, artists, partners, team and community our utmost priority.”
The management of Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai maintains virtual contact with its audience and clients by way of “releasing digital resources daily” via its website and social media account.
The center closed its doors from Monday “in support of the UAE’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and in solidarity with our colleagues locally and internationally.”
The Pascal Tepper chain of bakery-cum-restaurants have come up with a digital delivery system in order that its breakfast-lunch-dinner options “could still be enjoyed from the comfort of your homes.”
Its big launch at the Four Seasons Hotel on Sheikh Zayed Road on Sunday was “postponed for the time being.”
The BASE Dubai, the go-to-place for traditional al fresco nightlife within the Dubai Design District, “pauses all operations for the health and well-being of guests and employees.”
The fourth edition of the annual “Health Awards 2020” of the “Health” magazine shall be held “on a new date as soon as things return to normal.” Thumbay Group took the “precautionary measure to ensure the health and safety of all participants and guests. Decision was in line with the government to restrict large group gatherings, events and travelling.”
The true meaning of the Holy Month of Ramadan to share among the less fortunate members of the Pakistani diaspora in the UAE has not been forgotten by the social arm of the community. The Pakistan Association Dubai is distributing food packages among the underprivileged members of the community who have been affected by the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic. So far 1,500 food packages, enough for a 4-5-member family for one month, have been distributed across all nationalities and emirates as part of the food drive.
Hundreds of desperate community members have reached Pakistan Consulate in Dubai on Monday to get first-hand information on getting tickets to reach home.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Saturday that, 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 murder of 25-year-old computer science student Al Walid Al Gharbi took place last Monday inside a house in Building No. 300 on Hansberry St, Philadelphia, when they found the young man with a stab wound in the neck in the bathroom on the third floor.
“The deliberate shelling of active civilian medical facilities and the targeted killing of civilians are grave war crimes of the Kyiv regime and its Western masters,” the Russian foreign ministry said.
The typing centres affirmed that the entry permit application was activated since last Friday and covered all types of residence visas, noting that the holder of a UAE residence visa who stayed abroad for more than 6 months can apply for the entry permit.
Jabal Jais in Ras Al Khaimah recorded the lowest temperature of 1.9°C at 4:15 am on Sunday. Jabal Al Rahba in RAK also recorded 4.2°C. and Jabal Mabrah recorded 4.6 °C, while Rukna in the city of Al Ain in Abu Dhabi, recorded 6.7°C.