UAE schools to close for four weeks starting from Sunday due to coronavirus

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The UAE Education Ministry announced on Tuesday the early start of spring vacation for schools and of distance learning initiative to avoid the spreading of coronavirus, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The ministry also announced that schools and higher education institutions would close for four weeks, starting on Sunday, WAM reported.

A program for sanitizing educational institutions was also launched.

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Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), also announced on Tuesday six new cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19, in the UAE. “The total number of coronavirus cases has reached 27,” the Ministry affirmed, adding that five of the total number of cases were previously reported to have fully recovered.

The United Arab Emirates’ health ministry has been calling both citizens and residents who have recently returned from time abroad to check up on their health and asked them if they have been exhibiting any symptoms of the coronavirus.

A recent traveler who returned from India received a call from a health ministry worker asking about his health and urging him to visit a clinic should he show any symptoms. The calls are part of the UAE’s precautionary measures against the spread of the coronavirus in the UAE, which has confirmed 27 cases in the country so far.

Disruption in the UAE

While the UAE was the first country in the Middle East to record a confirmed case of coronavirus, it has been largely successful in containing its spread, with no deaths yet.

Nevertheless, life in the country has become increasingly disrupted by the virus.

As well as closing schools, several highly publicized cultural and sports events have recently been canceled or postponed.

The Dubai International Boat Show has been postponed until November 2020 with organizers blaming the coronavirus epidemic for the change.

On Tuesday, the organizers of Ultra Abu Dhabi 2020, which was set to take place on March 5-6 at Abu Dhabi's 25,000-capacity Du arena, said the event had been postponed to a later date, due to the travel restrictions imposed by some countries and airlines.

The same day, Art Dubai announced that the 14th edition of the international art fair, scheduled for March 25-28, would be postponed. The organizaiton will be holding a smaller, community-focused program instead.

Officials for the landmark Expo 2020 said that the event is still going ahead, but that they are following developments closely.

These disruptions appear to be hitting the economy, with the UAE central bank set to reassess its forecast for growth in 2020 to take into account the impact of coronavirus, according to Magda Kandil, the head of the research and statistics department at the central bank.

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