Over the course of a few short weeks, the world has stumbled into an unknown.
#Coronavirus has not stopped trending on Twitter, the new deadly strain of flu has racked up over 95,000 cases, (please note, over 56,000 people have recovered!) and people worldwide are clawing for information, so we can somehow grasp what’s going on.
We are now just over eight weeks in. The World Health Organisation has identified the virus and the genetic sequence and is currently working on a vaccine (there is no timeline given for this).
Hard hit countries have literally gone on lockdown, (towns in parts of South Korea, China, Italy have been closed off) and here in the UAE, the government and businesses have taken significant (and necessary) decisions to fight the spread.
Large scale events have been cancelled, schools will close for one month, and residents are advised not to travel
The impact of this is not to be sniffed at.
The decision to close schools affects student education, (the KHDA is doing its best to limit the impact on classes by preparing a home-learning initiative) it affects parents who will need to source childcare and it affects teachers and school staff who were looking forward to Spring Break in mid-March.
The knock-on effect here is huge. Parents might need to work from home. Vacations will need to be cancelled. Exams might be missed. But what would you prefer, your health or your wealth?
On top of this, large events including Taste of Dubai, Dubai International Boat Show and Art Dubai and more have been either cancelled or postponed… No doubt forgetting about the bottom line, to keep the virus at bay.
For your own safety, the UAE advises you NOT to travel
Asking a city of ex-pats to limit travel (esp. in the lead up to Spring break) will not have been taken lightly, however, the move, announced by WAM on Thursday, shows the UAE is not afraid to make impactful decisions which will benefit the general health of the entire population.
The authority advises: IF you must travel, you will face a medical exam on your return journey. And depending on the country you came from, you can also expect quarantine or a period of self-isolation.
Thousands of you are sharing this information. What does this mean for YOUR trip? The one you’ve paid for, and planned for months. People are shouting out (read: tweeting) about how it’s affected them, but the wider picture here is that the government has made crucial moves to limit the spread.
The UAE is doing everything in its power to contain Covid19
Dubai authorities implement strict screening measures and conduct medical check-ups for passengers arriving at Dubai Airports as precautionary measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus “COVID-19” into the UAE. pic.twitter.com/qJwWOyEcvG
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) March 2, 2020