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Food trucks provide rare bright spot in hard-hit West Bank

The coronavirus crisis has hit West Bank restaurants hard. But one part of the dining sector is bucking the trend: food trucks.

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Flu shot boosts immunity against Covid-19, other lung diseases

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever now amidst the Covid-19 pandemic as not only will it protect people from fighting respiratory diseases but will also reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the pandemic, said the spokeswoman for the UAE health sector.

Speaking at the launch of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s (MoHAP) annual National Seasonal Flu Awareness Campaign 2020, Dr Farida Al Hosani, Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases at the Abu Dhabi Centre for Public Health, said: “Though the flu vaccine will not protect you from getting infected with Covid-19, it can help boost your immunity against respiratory diseases that can weaken your lungs and make you more vulnerable to the virus. Therefore, we call on all members of the community to take the flu vaccine as soon as possible in order to prevent the spread of the infection among community members as the body needs up to two weeks to obtain immunity against the disease. It is free of charge and given to people aged six months and above.”

MoHap on Monday, kicked off its annual National Seasonal Flu Awareness Campaign 2020 earlier than usual in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic introducing a new four-strain (quadrivalent influenza flu) vaccine designed to protect against an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus and two additional strains of influenza B virus. These four are the most common flu strains in the community, Dr Farida said through a virtual video call from Abu Dhabi.

She added that the four-month campaign that is usually launched in October was launched well in advance keeping in mind the “extraordinary circumstances” faced by the world owing to the pandemic. “The rise in seasonal flu influenza cases is usually seen in the end of October and early November which is why we have launched the campaign now because the body will take at least two weeks to develop immunity against it.”

Covid-19 vaccine volunteers give a gap

Dr Farida added that those who have participated and taken their Covid-19 vaccine jabs need to ensure that they give a gap of “at least two or three weeks before they take the influenza vaccine”.

Showing optimism about the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, she said: “Hopefully, we will be able to start the use of the covid-19 vaccine widely either by end of this year or early next year based on the results of the trials.

The seasonal influenza vaccine will be provided free of charge for all Emiratis and high-risk residents such as those suffering from chronic diseases, children under five years of age, pregnant women, elderly and health workers.

The four-month campaign which will last until the end of January 2021 was announced on Monday at the InterContinental Dubai – Festival City, in the presence of Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centers, and Clinics; Dr Anwar Sallam, Chief Medical Officer at Seha; Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of Preventive Medicine Dept; Dr Farida Al Hosani; and Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion and Education Section, DHA.

[email protected] 

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Flu shot boosts immunity against Covid-19

Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever now amidst the Covid-19 pandemic as not only will it protect people from fighting respiratory diseases but will also reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the pandemic, said the spokeswoman for the UAE health sector.

Speaking at the launch of the Ministry of Health and Prevention’s (MoHAP) annual National Seasonal Flu Awareness Campaign 2020, Dr Farida Al Hosani, Director of the Department of Communicable Diseases at the Abu Dhabi Centre for Public Health, said: “Though the flu vaccine will not protect you from getting infected with Covid-19, it can help boost your immunity against respiratory diseases that can weaken your lungs and make you more vulnerable to the virus. Therefore, we call on all members of the community to take the flu vaccine as soon as possible in order to prevent the spread of the infection among community members as the body needs up to two weeks to obtain immunity against the disease. It is free of charge and given to people aged six months and above.”

MoHap on Monday, kicked off its annual National Seasonal Flu Awareness Campaign 2020 earlier than usual in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic introducing a new four-strain (quadrivalent influenza flu) vaccine designed to protect against an influenza A(H1N1) virus, an influenza A(H3N2) virus and two additional strains of influenza B virus. These four are the most common flu strains in the community, Dr Farida said through a virtual video call from Abu Dhabi.

She added that the four-month campaign that is usually launched in October was launched well in advance keeping in mind the “extraordinary circumstances” faced by the world owing to the pandemic. “The rise in seasonal flu influenza cases is usually seen in the end of October and early November which is why we have launched the campaign now because the body will take at least two weeks to develop immunity against it.”

Covid-19 vaccine volunteers give a gap

Dr Farida added that those who have participated and taken their Covid-19 vaccine jabs need to ensure that they give a gap of “at least two or three weeks before they take the influenza vaccine”.

Showing optimism about the development of the Covid-19 vaccine, she said: “Hopefully, we will be able to start the use of the covid-19 vaccine widely either by end of this year or early next year based on the results of the trials.

The seasonal influenza vaccine will be provided free of charge for all Emiratis and high-risk residents such as those suffering from chronic diseases, children under five years of age, pregnant women, elderly and health workers.

The four-month campaign which will last until the end of January 2021 was announced on Monday at the InterContinental Dubai – Festival City, in the presence of Dr Hussein Abdul Rahman Al-Rand, Undersecretary of the Ministry’s Health Assistant Sector, Health Centers, and Clinics; Dr Anwar Sallam, Chief Medical Officer at Seha; Dr Nada Al Marzouqi, Director of Preventive Medicine Dept; Dr Farida Al Hosani; and Dr Hend Al Awadhi, Head of Health Promotion and Education Section, DHA.

[email protected] 

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Hospital to pay Dh50,000 to patient after wrong TB diagnosis in UAE

An Abu Dhabi hospital, which wrongly diagnosed a patient with tuberculosis (TB) that led to a 16-day isolation, has been ordered to pay him Dh50,000 as compensation for moral and material damages.

Documents at the appellate court stated that the man visited the hospital’s emergency section complaining of severe abdominal pain, fever and cough. After examining him, the medical staff concluded he had infectious pulmonary TB. The man was placed in quarantine to prevent a spread of the infectious disease. The medics immediately reported the results from the initial diagnosis to the health authorities in the emirate.

During isolation, the hospital took more blood samples from the patient and sent them abroad for further tests. All the test results, however, confirmed that the man didn’t suffer from TB or any other infectious illness. He actually suffered from pneumonia. The hospital discharged the patient after six days without informing the health authorities about the new test results.

Three days later, the patient received a call from the health authorities, informing him that they had been notified he suffered from TB. He was told to visit a certain hospital to undergo more tests to confirm that he really suffered from the chronic disease.

When he arrived at the hospital, he was admitted and isolated in a closed room for 10 days as authorities waited for TB test results. The hospital then let the man to go home, but he was subjected to a treatment programme under direct observation for a period of six to eight months.

He then filed a lawsuit against the first hospital, demanding compensation.

A medical report submitted by the Supreme Committee for Medical Responsibility indicated that there was a medical error on part of the first hospital.

[email protected] 

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Hospital to pay Dh50,000 to patient after wrong TB diagnosis

An Abu Dhabi hospital, which wrongly diagnosed a patient with tuberculosis (TB) that led to a 16-day isolation, has been ordered to pay him Dh50,000 as compensation for moral and material damages.

Documents at the appellate court stated that the man visited the hospital’s emergency section complaining of severe abdominal pain, fever and cough. After examining him, the medical staff concluded he had infectious pulmonary TB. The man was placed in quarantine to prevent a spread of the infectious disease. The medics immediately reported the results from the initial diagnosis to the health authorities in the emirate.

During isolation, the hospital took more blood samples from the patient and sent them abroad for further tests. All the test results, however, confirmed that the man didn’t suffer from TB or any other infectious illness. He actually suffered from pneumonia. The hospital discharged the patient after six days without informing the health authorities about the new test results.

Three days later, the patient received a call from the health authorities, informing him that they had been notified he suffered from TB. He was told to visit a certain hospital to undergo more tests to confirm that he really suffered from the chronic disease.

When he arrived at the hospital, he was admitted and isolated in a closed room for 10 days as authorities waited for TB test results. The hospital then let the man to go home, but he was subjected to a treatment programme under direct observation for a period of six to eight months.

He then filed a lawsuit against the first hospital, demanding compensation.

A medical report submitted by the Supreme Committee for Medical Responsibility indicated that there was a medical error on part of the first hospital.

[email protected] 

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Man offers Dh200,000 as bribe to 2 Dubai cops to release him

A 51-year-old businessman has been charged with bribery at the Dubai Court of First Instance.

Dubai public prosecution records show that the Indian businessman offered Dh200,000 to two police officers in June while he was detained for questioning at Al Rafaa police station following a criminal complaint. He offered Dh100,000 to each of the officers to talk them into releasing him.

Two other men, also Indians, aged 51 and 33, are accused of aiding and abetting the businessman as they brought and handed him Dh50,000 out of the total amount to give to the officers. 

All the three defendants are in detention.

A police sergeant said that the businessman was arrested on June 12 in connection with a forcible robbery report. “I was at the police station with a colleague in charge of staying guards of the accused and other people. The businessman asked to talk to me in private. I took him out of the detention cell. He then offered me Dh100,000 for my help in the complaint against him. He said that the help would be to release him and take him out of the case.”

The businessman offered to pay the sergeant’s colleague an equal amount (Dh100,000). “The defendant said that his friends would bring him the money. I made him believe I would take his offer and then informed the on-duty lieutenant.”

With a public prosecution warrant, the defendant’s accomplices were caught on tape handing him over Dh50,000 in cash. The businessman had promised to pay the remaining amount once released. 

The next hearing into the case will be held on November 22.  

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Sudden swerving causes 317 crashes in Abu Dhabi

As many as 317 crashes took place because of sudden change of lanes on Abu Dhabi roads during 2019, the Abu Dhabi Police revealed, while warning motorists to avoid the dangerous offence.

Police said sudden swerving is a serious traffic violation and causes horrific traffic accidents.

The officials called on drivers to be attentive while on the roads and avoid things that could distract them or make them lose control over their vehicles.

“Drivers should stay focused on the road. They should not be distracted by the mobile phones while driving, and must use the side mirrors and indicators when changing lanes,” the police pointed out.

Motorists indulged in chatting, texting or talking on phones while driving get defocused and this can lead to sudden change of lanes, thereby resulting in mishaps, the police said.

Last year, the Abu Dhabi Traffic and Patrols Directorate reported 4,311 violations against drivers caught changing lanes abruptly and without using indicators, from January to August 20 last year.

In 2018, police recorded 17,349 violations against drivers who didn’t use indicators while changing lanes.

The fine for sudden changing of lanes or not using indicators is Dh400.

The police have warned that changing lanes without warning was very dangerous and urged them to approach traffic junctions with caution.

“The sudden change of lane, especially when approaching traffic lights, is a dangerous behaviour, which compromises the safety of the driver and puts his life and the lives of other motorists at risk,” warned the police.

The police have always released video clips on social media to educate commuters on how to change lanes correctly.

The department also reminds the public about traffic rules as a part of their awareness programmes and safety initiatives.

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Sheikh Mohammed invites citizens, expats to help shape UAE’s next 50 years

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched ‘Designing the Next 50’ project to involve the public in shaping the future of the UAE.

The project will bring together all members of the society to establish the pillars and components of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071 as part of declaring the year ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ to develop a comprehensive development plan for the next five decades beyond 2021, a statement issued by the UAE government media office today said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “50 years ago, the UAE’s founders started a mission to involve people in shaping the country’s future that we see today. They started from the desert with ambitions that reached outer space. They gathered and discussed people’s ideas while living in different circumstances with fewer resources, but they were united by the same spirit and extensive efforts that aimed for the summit. Their mission made history and redefined the concept of modern societies.”

The grand project will be overseen by the 50-year development plan committee, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, to shape the UAE’s next 50 years.

Societal efforts

As part of ‘Designing the Next 50’ project, a digital platform will be launched to gather ideas from citizens and residents on shaping the UAE’s next 50 years in sectors including health, education, social development, economy, environment, housing, tourism, entrepreneurship, investment, skill development, societal values, culture, family relations, sports, youth, food security, science and advanced technologies.

Towards the future

The UAE has been implementing long-term visions, plans and strategies throughout its history to achieve the development it has reached today.

On December 2019, Sheikh Mohammed and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, declared 2020 to be the year of preparations for the next 50 years.

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Citizens, expats to help shape UAE’s next 50 years

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched ‘Designing the Next 50’ project to involve the public in shaping the future of the UAE.

The project will bring together all members of the society to establish the pillars and components of the UAE Centennial Plan 2071 as part of declaring the year ‘2020: Towards the next 50’ to develop a comprehensive development plan for the next five decades beyond 2021, a statement issued by the UAE government media office today said.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, “50 years ago, the UAE’s founders started a mission to involve people in shaping the country’s future that we see today. They started from the desert with ambitions that reached outer space. They gathered and discussed people’s ideas while living in different circumstances with fewer resources, but they were united by the same spirit and extensive efforts that aimed for the summit. Their mission made history and redefined the concept of modern societies.”

The grand project will be overseen by the 50-year development plan committee, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs, to shape the UAE’s next 50 years.

Societal efforts

As part of ‘Designing the Next 50’ project, a digital platform will be launched to gather ideas from citizens and residents on shaping the UAE’s next 50 years in sectors including health, education, social development, economy, environment, housing, tourism, entrepreneurship, investment, skill development, societal values, culture, family relations, sports, youth, food security, science and advanced technologies.

Towards the future

The UAE has been implementing long-term visions, plans and strategies throughout its history to achieve the development it has reached today.

On December 2019, Sheikh Mohammed and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, declared 2020 to be the year of preparations for the next 50 years.

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Nasa scientists, UAE engineers discuss life on Mars

Mars used to be a blue planet and this is why space explorers have long been hoping to find signs of past Martian life, Nasa’s chief scientist said at a recent marathon virtual conference hosted by the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park).

Dr James Green, chief scientist at National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) headquarters, said finding life on Mars would be revolutionary and would start a whole new line of thinking.

Humans going back to the moon

During Sharjah’s MIIT Summit, Dr Douglas Terrier, chief technology officer at Nasa headquarters, affirmed Nasa’s plan to return astronauts, including the first woman, to the moon in 2024.

Inspiring the youth

14 hours of discussion

The online MIIT Summit connected Sharjah, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, New York and major players in the world of technology. It brought together global investors, government and private sector representatives, experts, entrepreneurs, academics, and other relevant stakeholders for 14 hours of discussions on how to best shape the future of innovation and promote sustainability.