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COVID-19 MENA Update, Beginning of June


03.06.2020 - 19:00 CET

  • Starting early this week, most of GCC states resumed operations and all institutions and sectors are involved in protecting their staff.

  • Major focus by governments on occupational and people heath urging all to abide by safety regulations, including wearing face masks all time when out of home and practising social distancing.

  • Hospitals are back to business and the occupancy rate for hospitals about 52%.

United Arab Emirates

Dubai Health Authority has announced it going to evacuate COVID-19 patients from its hospitals to some private ones to resume normal operations across DHA hospitals. The move will allow DHA hospitals to receive patients across various specialties in addition to conducting surgeries. Some major hospitals have already started the evacuation, in line with Dubai's plan to resume work across all economic and commercial activities.
  • Dedicated centres for Coronavirus critical patients were set ensuring those patients to keep patients treated for unrelated conditions away from the virus.

  • Malls and private-sector businesses are operating at 100% starting Wednesday the 3rd June. The authority advised people at greater risk of infection – including those with chronic illnesses and low immunity – should continue to work remotely.

  • Rigorous safety measures will continue to be enforced in malls and commercial centres, including continued sterilization and the use of thermometers or thermal scanners at all entrances.

Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Arabia eased restrictions nationwide & curfew will end on Sunday, June 21, across the country, except in the holy city of Makkah.

  • Domestic flights are also set to begin operating from Sunday, May 31, but international passenger flights remain suspended. Flights operating under repatriation services will continue.

  • The Kingdom has also lifted bans in mosques and workplace attendance in both the government and private sector.

  • Ministry of Public Health advised this week, coronavirus outbreak is at the peak stage in Qatar and not to leave the house except for when absolutely essential.

  • The ministry advised most of the new cases were Expat workers who contracted the virus from previously infected individuals. Also, the number of infections among citizens and residents have increased due to contact with infected family members who had been infected in the workplace or due to visits and family gatherings.

  • Authorities announced 60 per cent of workers could return to work starting next week while public sector employees could return to work on Tuesday.

  • The country's borders and international airports also closed.

  • Oman Ministry of Health said it will end the lockdown imposed in Muscat governorate on Friday.

  • Authorities said that at least 50 per cent of employees will be allowed to work from their offices starting next week.

  • Kuwait has taken extensive measures to contain the spreading of the virus with lockdown still in place.

  • Bahrain new confirmed cases were detected among expatriate workers and were found to have been exposed to active cases.

  • The continuing surge in infections suggests that the worst of the pandemic in Egypt is yet to come, placing immense pressure on a fragile health sector. Major concern by Ministry of health on an actual number of cases which is expected to reach 10 times the number of reported cases, mainly due to socializing during the last week Eid holidays.

  • The increase in cases would be prevalent among those who returned to the provinces for the holiday, then left for work and the disease would mostly be spread through people who have contracted the virus without showing symptoms, also known as silent carriers or asymptomatic.


Article by: Jamil Juma, Regional Manager MENA & CIS

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