UAE allows valid visa holders stranded in India, 5 other countries to return – conditions apply

News Network
August 3, 2021

Dubai, Aug 3: Fully vaccinated UAE residents holding valid visas from six countries - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Nigeria and Uganda - will be allowed to enter the UAE from August 5.  At least 14 days should have passed after receiving the second vaccine dose. They must also hold a certificate to this effect.

This is among a string of exemptions announced by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA).

Passenger entry from these six countries is, otherwise, on hold.

Additionally, vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers from the following categories are allowed entry from August 5:

>> Health workers employed in the UAE. These include doctors, nurses and technicians

>> Those working in the UAE’s education sector: Universities, colleges, schools and institutes

>> Students in the country

>> Humanitarian cases who hold valid residency

>> Those employed in federal and local government agencies

Previously, only passengers under eight exempted categories were allowed entry from restricted countries. The categories were:

>> Citizens of the UAE and their first-degree relatives;

>> Diplomatic personnel between the UAE and the applicable countries, including administrative workers;

>> Official delegations, subject to obtaining prior approval;

>> Expo 2020 international participants and exhibitors; and personnel sponsored by its organiser.

>> UAE residents with gold or silver residency permit;

>> Crews of cargo and transit flights of foreign companies;

>> Businessmen and businesswomen, provided they hold an approval from the General Authority for the Security of Ports, Borders and Free Zones, and heads of higher committees of the emergency, crisis and disaster management teams of the Emirate concerned;

>> Employees belonging to vital functions according to the classification of the Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship. 

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Sadaqat Ali
 - 
Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021

Sir I check three times a day but I don't get the green signal . From long time to I’m try but status still red plz advise me .

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News Network
September 2,2021

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The patriarch of separatist politics in the Valley and Hurriyat leader, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, passed away at his residence in Srinagar late Wednesday night. A former elected legislator, the ailing 92-year-old had been under house detention for more than a decade. 

His death comes when both his and the moderate factions of the Hurriyat are in disarray in the wake of a crackdown by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), the abrogation of Article 370 and the downgrade of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories.

Apprehensive that his funeral may attract large crowds, the security establishment has imposed restrictions across the Valley, including Internet suspension. Police sources say curfew would be imposed.

“With shock and grief, we inform (you) that the father of revolution Syed Ali Geelani passed away tonight,” tweeted Geelani’s Pakistan-based representative Abdullah Geelani. “As per his will, he would be buried at the martyrs’ cemetery in Srinagar. The timing of the funeral would be announced later.”

However, it is unlikely that the government will allow Geelani to be buried at this cemetery.

Geelani’s legacy will be that of the hardliner who stood up to New Delhi, seeking resolution of the Kashmir dispute under the aegis of the United Nations. In fact, he was the only separatist leader to oppose Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf when the latter climbed down on Islamabad’s traditional stand on Kashmir and proposed a four-point formula to resolve the Kashmir issue.

Born on September 29, 1929, at Zurmanz, a village on the banks of the Wular lake in Bandipore, Geelani rose to become the face of separatist politics.

A school teacher, he started his political career under the tutelage of Maulana Mohammad Sayeed Masoodi, a senior National Conference (NC) leader, but soon moved to Jamat-e-Islami. The socio-religious organisation stood up to the NC leadership and saw Kashmir as an “unfinished agenda” of Partition.

Geelani’s electoral career started from Sopore, a traditional separatist and Jamat stronghold. He first contested the Assembly elections in 1972, and represented Sopore in the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir Assembly for three terms. The last term ended abruptly in 1987 when militancy erupted in Kashmir.

Geelani had been one of the four candidates of the Muslim United Front (MUF) — an alliance of political, social and religious organisations — who won in the widely rigged 1987 elections that brought the NC-Congress combine to power and set off militancy in the Valley.

An ardent supporter of armed struggle for resolution of the Kashmir issue, Geelani was among the seven executive members of the Hurriyat Conference when it was formed in 1993. But his support for militancy and unwavering ideology on Kashmir sowed the seeds of discord between him and his colleagues in the Hurriyat Conference, finally culminating in a split in 2003.

In 2004, Geelani also parted ways from Jamat-e-Islami when it distanced itself from militancy, and formed his own political outfit, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat.

While Geelani has been bedridden for years now and incommunicado for the last two years, he sprang a surprise on June 30 last year when he dissociated himself from the faction of Hurriyat that he founded. He left the reins to his deputy Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai, who died in custody in Jammu jail earlier this year.

And though Geelani said he wanted the resolution of the Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of the people, he himself was an ardent supporter of its merger with Pakistan. Last year, the Pakistan government awarded him with Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian honour of the country.

The NIA, which has till date arrested 18 separatist leaders from Kashmir including those from the Hurriyat in a case of terror funding, has alleged that they received funds from Pakistan to foment unrest in the Valley. The agency had even named Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq in the chargesheet, claiming they had been pushing for secession and fuelling unrest but had stopped short of naming them as accused.

In February, 2019 the NIA had raided Umer Farooq’s and Geelani’s son Naseem Geelani’s house among others in the case. In March 2019, the Enforcement Directorate had levied a penalty of Rs 14.40 lakh on Geelani in a 17-year-old case of alleged illegal possession of $10,000 in alleged contravention of the foreign exchange law.

Former chief minister and PDP chief Mehbooba Mufti condoled Geelani’s demise, saying, “We may not have agreed on most things but I respect him for his steadfastness and standing for his beliefs.”

People’s Conference leader Sajad Lone tweeted: “Heartfelt condolences to the family of Syed Ali Shah Geelani sahib. Was an esteemed colleague of my late father. May Allah grant him Jannat”.

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News Network
September 6,2021

Kabul, Sept 6: The Taliban has taken complete control of Panjshir province, the last area in Afghanistan held by rebel forces, says the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid.

Pictures on social media on Monday showed Taliban members standing in front of the gate of the Panjshir provincial governor’s compound.

There was no immediate word from Ahmad Massoud, the leader of the opposition group resisting Taliban forces.

Earlier on Monday, the last anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan acknowledged suffering considerable battlefield losses and called for a ceasefire, as a top United States diplomat flew to Qatar to try and handle the chaotic aftermath of the US withdrawal.

The National Resistance Front (NRF) proposed in a statement “that the Taliban stop its military operations in Panjshir … and withdraw its forces”.

“In return, we will direct our forces to refrain from military action,” said the statement, according to a report by the AFP news agency.

The NRF includes local fighters loyal to Massoud, the son of the famous anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, as well as remnants of the Afghan military that retreated to the Panjshir Valley.

The group said separately in a tweet on Sunday that spokesman Fahim Dashty, a well-known Afghan journalist, and General Abdul Wudod Zara had been killed in the latest fighting.

The NRF has promised to fight the Taliban but also said it was willing to negotiate with the group. But initial contact did not lead to a breakthrough.

The Panjshir Valley is famed for being the site of resistance to Soviet forces in the 1980s and the Taliban in the late 1990s, but observers have said the NRF is struggling.

Bill Roggio, the managing editor of the US-based Long War Journal, on Sunday said while there was still a “fog of war”, with unconfirmed reports the Taliban had captured multiple districts, “it looks bad”.

Former Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who is holed out in Panjshir alongside Ahmad Massoud, has warned of a humanitarian crisis, with thousands “displaced by the Taliban onslaught”.

The Taliban is yet to finalise their new government after rolling into Kabul three weeks ago.

Afghanistan’s new rulers have pledged to be more “inclusive” than during their first stint in power, which also came after years of conflict, first the Soviet invasion of 1979, and then a bloody civil war.

They have promised a government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup.

Women’s freedoms in Afghanistan were sharply curtailed under the Taliban’s 1996-2001 rule.

This time, women will be allowed to attend university as long as classes are segregated by sex or at least divided by a curtain, the Taliban’s education authority said in a lengthy document issued on Sunday.

But female students must also wear an long robe and face veil, as opposed to the even more conservative burqa mandatory under the previous Taliban rule.

As the Taliban comes to grips with their transition from armed uprising to government, it is facing a host of challenges, including humanitarian needs for which international assistance is critical.

UN humanitarian chief Martin Griffiths has arrived in Kabul for several days of meetings with the Taliban leadership, which has promised to help.

“The authorities pledged that the safety and security of humanitarian staff, and humanitarian access to people in need, will be guaranteed and that humanitarian workers – men and women – will be guaranteed freedom of movement,” a statement from UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

The Taliban spokesman tweeted that the group’s delegation assured the UN of cooperation.

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News Network
September 7,2021

After two cases of the deadly Nipah virus emerged in the neighbouring state of Kerala recently, out of which, one 12-year-old boy died, the Karnataka government on Tuesday directed districts bordering that state to strengthen the surveillance and preparedness. 

It said that all those coming from Kerala should be monitored for symptoms like fever, altered mental status, severe weakness, headache, respiratory distress, cough, vomiting, muscle pain, convulsion, diarrhea. 

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that he had instructed the experts to study the Nipah virus and give suggestions to tackle the disease.

"I have instructed the experts to study in details about the Nipah virus. I have also told them to give suggestions regarding how it will spread, how to tackle it," Bommai said.

A 12-year-old boy died of the Nipah virus infection at Kozhikode in Kerala on September 5. The test results of eight people, including the child's parents and health care workers, who came in close contact with him, returned negative. The Kerala government had put the health departments in four districts -- Kozhikode, neighbouring Kannur, Malappuram and Wayanad -- on high alert.

 "In view of confirmed cases of Nipah virus (NiV) infection reported recently in the neighboring state of Kerala, it is imperative to strengthen the surveillance and preparedness in the larger interest of Public Health in Karnataka also, with special focus in the districts bordering Kerala -- Dakshina Kannada, Udupi, Mysuru, Kodagu and Chamarajanagara," the government advisory said. 

Issued by the Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Jawaid Akhtar, it gave certain instructions to be implemented by district administrations to ensure the well being of the community, that includes monitoring those coming from Kerala for symptoms. Also, necessary public awareness should be spread among the public on Nipa, it said, adding that a systematic surveillance system is a necessary method to identify clusters of encephalitis cases, resulting in early detection of Nipah outbreaks. 

The advisory said suitable samples have to be collected with all necessary precautions from suspected, probable and contacts and sent to the National Institute of Virology, Pune, for laboratory confirmation. However, Kerala's health minister Veena George informed news agency ANI that all 24 samples of eight persons sent to the NIV Pune have tested negative for Nipah virus

"All 24 samples of eight persons sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune were found negative (for Nipah virus). We are testing more samples. We have started field surveillance and will begin house-to-house surveillance in containment zones today," she told ANI.

As there is no known treatment or vaccine available, Ribavirin, an antiviral, may have a role in reducing mortality among patients with encephalitis caused by Nipah virus disease, it further said, adding that intensive supportive care with treatment of symptoms is the main approach for managing the infection in people. 

The advisory also instructed district authorities to send the daily reports, even if Nil, in a prescribed format, to the Commissioner, Health and Family Welfare Services, Arogya Soudha, Bengaluru. District Authorities should take all the necessary measures as instructed and as per the local situation, it added. Stating that Human Nipah Virus (NiV) infection is an emerging zoonotic disease, the health department said that in India, two outbreaks in humans were reported from West Bengal and neighboring Bangladesh in 2001 and 2007. 

Further, confirmed cases and deaths were also reported from Kerala during the outbreak in 2018. Large fruit bats of the Pteropus genus are the natural reservoir of Nipah virus, whose cases tend to occur in a cluster or as an outbreak. In general, the case-fatality rate is estimated at 40-75 per cent. However, this rate can vary by outbreak and can be up to 100 per cent, it added.

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