A welcome move in the right direction - GulfToday

A welcome move in the right direction


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The decision by the UAE government to allow those over 60 years to shopping malls is a welcome step in the right direction.

Ever since the enforced lockdown over the coronavirus that started a few months ago, residents, particularly the middle-aged and elderly, could have been feeling stifled cooped up at home all day long. The virus has tampered with the yearning to venture out of the house.

Thanks to the initiatives of the leadership, lockdown curbs were gradually eased, including restrictions on those over 60.

Since we are in summer, the heat makes sitting outdoors for the elderly, perhaps near the beach and on the Corniche, quite uncomfortable. Spending some relaxing hours in airconditioned comfort in a mall could spell total bliss for a lot of 60-year-olds and above who have been beleaguered by the impact of the coronavirus.

Children however will be thrilled to see the elders accompanying them. Many are attached to their uncles or grandparents and giving such people access to shopping centres will only serve to gladden their hearts, who would love to play with them in such areas. Such people however have to continue wearing face masks, maintain a distance of two metres from others and avoid crowded areas.

Under the directives of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management headed by Sheikh Mansour Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum announced the resumption of a new set of economic activities and services in the emirate effective Thursday 18 June, 2020.

Living with the menace of the virus, which has become a global, existential threat, has become the new normal. Despite a bid to restore some normalcy in the emirate, opening the doors of normal business to the people has come in like a breath of fresh air to those whose lives have been upturned by the virus. Strict precautionary measures will however continue to be enforced in public areas and facilities across Dubai, based on guidelines issued by local and federal authorities.

Services and activities that will be resumed include public libraries; private museums and art galleries; home services such as those providing healthcare services to elderly people and people of determination; home beauty services, and elective surgical procedures lasting more than two and a half hours.

Lack of compliance with precautionary measures will undermine the efforts of local and federal authorities, the Committee further said. Inspections will continue to be implemented across various facilities, offices, shopping malls and various outlets to ensure full adherence to precautionary measures. Those found violating these measures will be fined.

One must not however forget the role of frontline workers waging a relentless battle against the scourge of the coronavirus, including those with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Ministry of Interior, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), the Dubai Health Authority, the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, Dubai Police, Dubai State Security and all departments and organisations.

France has already lifted its lockdown, with millions getting back to their workplace.

While most European countries failed to contain the coronavirus outbreak when it reached them in February and March, Belgium and Poland are among those who say they are far better placed to deal with any so-called second wave.

China’s capital, Beijing, has mandated coronavirus tests for hundreds of thousands of people as it widens measures against a new outbreak of the disease that has sent anxious residents pouring into clinics for voluntary tests, putting a strain on the system. Over 8 million people have been reported to be infected by the novel coronavirus globally and 448,485 have died.

The pandemic is testing the entrepreneurship of businessmen and teaching valuable lessons about surviving and innovating. However, one only hopes it does not last long and stretch our nerves unduly.

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