The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced 14 new cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus had been confirmed in the country. Four of them are from the UAE, three from Italy, two each from Bangladesh and Nepal, and one each from Russia, India and Syria. This takes the tally up to 59.
Meanwhile, Coronavirus (COVID – 19) spread has claimed yet another event casualty with the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) being postponed to a later date. The region’s biggest tourism and hospitality showcase is now being held from June 28 to July 1, 2020, at the Dubai World Trade Centre in Dubai, UAE. The event was supposed to start on April 19.
In a statement, organisers said, “We at the Arabian Travel Market want to express our concern for everyone impacted by the coronavirus. Like all of you, we have carefully monitored the global health crisis related to COVID-19 coronavirus. “Our top priority is the health and safety of everyone involved in Arabian Travel Market; employees, partners, customers and exhibitor.” The organisers also added that announcement has been made now so as to give as much as notice possible to all stakeholders. This will enable them to make necessary arrangements to reschedule their plans and ensure even stronger attendance in June.
The ATM is one of the largest exhibitions in the Arab world and draws delegates from the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors from across the globe, generating more than $2.5 billion in business deals.
Etihad suspends flights to Saudi
Etihad Airways has temporarily suspended all flights between Abu Dhabi and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in response to a directive from the General Authority for Civil Aviation, Saudi Arabia, to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus. The airline operates up to 12 flights per day between Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia, said a press release issued by Etihad on Monday, noting that it has cancelled a total of seven flights today between Abu Dhabi and the Saudi cities of Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam and Medina, and is now advising passengers who were booked to travel today.
Kuwait sets up fund to tackle COVID-19
The governor of the Central Bank of Kuwait (CBK) announced on Sunday that a US$33mn fund has been set up to tackle the spread of coronavirus. The fund will be financed by Kuwaiti banks and will be handed to the cabinet, who will be free to disburse as they see fit in order to address emergency cases. Meanwhile, Kuwaiti Civil Service Commission (CSC) has told all government agencies to ban employees placed under quarantine from starting work and stressed that salaries for Kuwaiti and non-Kuwaiti staff will continue to be paid during any period of quarantine. Their absence from work will not impact their employment status.