UAE formally imposes travel ban on unvaccinated citizens

News Network
January 10, 2022

UAE has announced a travel ban on unvaccinated citizens from January 10.

The National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority and Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation said that fully vaccinated citizens will also need to get the Covid-19 booster dose.

Those who are unable to take the vaccine because of medical reasons are exempted from the decision.

The announcement is in line with the country’s vision in the recovery phase of the pandemic and enhancing national efforts in all sectors, due to the global epidemiological situation and the current high rate of infections, to preserve the health and safety of citizens.

The ministry also stressed the requirement to receive the booster dose for vaccinated citizens as per the national protocol on travel.

Travel is permitted for unvaccinated citizens of the following categories, citizens medically exempted from taking the vaccine, humanitarian cases, and individuals traveling from medical and treatment purposes.

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News Network
May 6,2022

Allahabad, May 6: The Allahabad High Court on Friday ruled that delivering the azaan on loudspeakers is not a fundamental right.

The court made this remark while dismissing a petition filed by one Irfan of Budaun, who sought permission to play Azaan using loudspeakers in the Noori Masjid.

"The law has now been settled that use of loudspeaker from mosque is not a fundamental right. Ever otherwise a cogent reason has been assigned in the impugned order. Accordingly, we find that the present petition is patently misconceived, hence the same is dismissed," said the court.

The court further said that although azaan is an integral part of Islam, it stated that delivering it through loudspeakers is not a part of the religion.

"Azaan is an integral part of Islam, but giving it through loudspeakers is not a part of Islam," a bench headed by Justice BK Vidla and Justice Vikas said.

Ruling on the petition, a two-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court had noted that there have been previous instances where courts have ruled that the call for prayer on a loudspeaker is not a fundamental right.

Azaan is the Islamic call to prayers which is given five times at prescribed times of the day. A muezzin is a person who proclaims the call to the daily prayer five times a day at a mosque.

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News Network
May 14,2022

In response to the cold-blooded killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh by Israeli regime forces, the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas has called for a unified command against the occupying regime.

In his remarks late on Friday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Gaza-based resistance movement's political bureau, urged the “speedy formation” of the command to lead the struggle against Israel.

The call came two days after 51-year-old Abu Akleh was brutally murdered while covering an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The long-time Al Jazeera Arabic journalist, who shot to fame while covering the second Palestinian Intifada between 2000 and 2005, was accompanying a group of local journalists when she was targeted.

Haniyeh said the Palestinian liberation struggle is going through a "new stage," which demands the adoption of "incisive and strategic decisions".

He said the unified command will be tasked with directing the resistance against the apartheid regime.

Formation of the unified front is indispensable in the light of the regime's "bestiality," which manifested itself in the "assassination of the daughter of Palestine," Haniyeh said, referring to Abu Akleh.

The Hamas leader said Palestinians need to get their act together in the face of Tel Aviv's unbridled aggression, advocating unity between different Palestinian political groups.

He cited examples of Israeli aggression such as the increase in settlement construction activities across the occupied territories, assaulting Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in the holy occupied city of al-Quds, the longstanding and crippling siege of Gaza, detention of thousands of Palestinians, and denying them the right to return to their homeland.

Haniyeh called on the West Bank-headquartered Palestinian Authority (PA) to end its cooperation with the regime in Tel Aviv and scrap the so-called Oslo Accords, which were signed in 1993 and marked the first time the Israeli regime and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) recognized each other.

The Oslo Accords were signed in the White House but named after Norway’s capital city, where the secret back-channel dialogue took place.

The Hamas leader urged the PA to withdraw its "recognition of Israel," stop its "security cooperation" with Tel Aviv, "and concentrate on the resistance's comprehensive plan for confronting the occupier."

Pertinently, it came on the eve of Nakba Day, (the Day of Catastrophe), when in 1948 hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homeland and Israel came into existence as an illegal and illegitimate entity.

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News Network
May 12,2022

More than half of people hospitalised with Covid-19 still have at least one symptom two years after they were first infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, according to the longest follow-up study published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

The research followed 1,192 participants in China infected with SARS-CoV-2 during the first phase of the pandemic in 2020.

While physical and mental health generally improved over time, the study suggests that Covid-19 patients still tend to have poorer health and quality of life than the general population.

This is especially the case for participants with long Covid, who typically still have at least one symptom including fatigue, shortness of breath, and sleep difficulties two years after initially falling ill, the researchers said.

The long-term health impacts of Covid-19 have remained largely unknown, as the longest follow-up studies to date have spanned around one year, they said.

"Our findings indicate that for a certain proportion of hospitalised Covid-19 survivors, while they may have cleared the initial infection, more than two years is needed to recover fully from Covid-19," said study lead author Professor Bin Cao, of the China-Japan Friendship Hospital, China.

"Ongoing follow-up of Covid-19 survivors, particularly those with symptoms of long Covid, is essential to understand the longer course of the illness, as is further exploration of the benefits of rehabilitation programmes for recovery," Cao said in a statement.

The researchers noted that there is a clear need to provide continued support to a significant proportion of people who have had Covid-19, and to understand how vaccines, emerging treatments, and variants affect long-term health outcomes.

They evaluated the health of 1,192 participants with acute Covid-19 treated at Jin Yin-tan Hospital in Wuhan, between January 7 and May 29, 2020, at six months, 12 months, and two years.

Assessments involved a six-minute walking test, laboratory tests, and questionnaires on symptoms, mental health, health-related quality of life, if they had returned to work, and health-care use after discharge, the researchers said.

The median age of participants at discharge was 57 years, and 54 per cent were men.

Six months after initially falling ill, 68 per cent of participants reported at least one long Covid symptom, according to the researchers.

By two years after infection, reports of symptoms had fallen to 55 per cent, they said.

Fatigue or muscle weakness were the symptoms most often reported and fell from 52 per cent at six months to 30 per cent at two years, the researchers said.

Regardless of the severity of their initial illness, 89 per cent of participants had returned to their original work at two years, they said.

The researchers noted that two years after initially falling ill, patients with Covid-19 are generally in poorer health than the general population, with 31 per cent reporting fatigue or muscle weakness and 31 per cent reporting sleep difficulties.

Covid-19 patients were also more likely to report a number of other symptoms including joint pain, palpitations, dizziness, and headaches, they said.

Around half of study participants had symptoms of long Covid at two years, and reported lower quality of life than those without long Covid.

In mental health questionnaires, 35 per cent reported pain or discomfort and 19 per cent reported anxiety or depression.

Long Covid participants also more often reported problems with their mobility or activity than those without the disorder.

The authors acknowledge some limitations to their study.

Without a control group of hospital survivors unrelated to Covid-19 infection, it is hard to determine whether observed abnormalities are specific to Covid-19, they said.

The slightly increased proportion of participants included in the analysis who received oxygen leads to the possibility that those who did not participate in the study had fewer symptoms than those who did, according to the researchers.

This may result in an overestimate of the prevalence of long Covid symptoms, they added. 

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