UAE schools, universities postpone reopening, exams after high COVID infection rate

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UAE schools and universities are expected to extend remote learning for an additional week after COVID-19 cases in the country surged past the 2,500 daily infected mark.

The decision to extend the safety measures until January 21 was revealed by Hazza al-Mansouri, a spokesperson of the UAE Education Sector, who announced the changes during a government media briefing.

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All in-person exams have been postponed to January 28, according to a statement from the government body, reports UAE national media, WAM.

However, the UAE’s National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA) said the decision is applicable at the national level, but that local authorities in each emirate can decide independently.

On January 13, the UAE reported 2,683 new COVID-19 cases and one virus-related death (in 24 hours), according to the country’s Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).

A total of 795,997 COVID-19 cases and 2,182 deaths have now been recorded in the UAE since the beginning of the pandemic.

Dr. Noura al-Ghaithi, a spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector, highlighted the importance of the community’s adherence to preventive measures aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, according to the WAM report.

Al-Ghaithi also stressed that the health sector is continuing its efforts to achieve the required immunity by providing vaccines to all eligible individuals and added that 100 percent of the population had received the first dose of the vaccine while 92.76 percent are fully vaccinated.

“We urge the community’s members to be cautious and perform the necessary tests if they present with symptoms, especially respiratory symptoms associated with seasonal flu. PCR tests are necessary in these cases to confirm infections,” she remarked.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia plans to resume in-person classes for primary school-goers on January 23 after a successful run with high schoolers and middle school pupils.

It comes eight months after the Kingdom announced remote learning as a precaution against COVID-19.

Cases in Saudi Arabia reached an all time high of 5,499 in 24 hours on January 13, bringing the total deaths caused by the virus to 8,901.

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