As a country known for its love for and endless investments in technology, one should not be surprised by the swift actions taken by the UAE to combat the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The latter has been officially announced as a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Wednesday.
The GCC nation, as of this week, has started implementing a few strict measures to prevent the number of infected people from growing within its borders. And as of previous months, it has shown great readiness to help residents feel safe.
Thermal cameras have been installed at the entrances of malls and supermarkets
According to The National, a spokesperson for Dubai developer Nakheel confirmed the launch of a "24-hour surface disinfectant programme" in properties that include Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart, Nakheel Mall, The Pointe, Club Vista Mare, and community shopping centers.
Malls in Abu Dhabi such as Al Raha, Al Wahda, Mushrif, Madinat Zayed, and Mazyad, as well as Barari Outlet Mall and Al Foah Mall in Al Ain, have seen the installation of two to five thermal scanners that are linked to the CCTV control room of each mall.
Any detection of high temperature will lead the staff present at each property to isolate the person in question in a specialized room. "A medical team from a nearby clinic would then be contacted to take the customer for further testing, off site if needed," The National explained.
Dubai is requesting employers send employees home
In the presence of technology - and the highly infectious COVID-19 - in-person meetings are growing less popular.
The Dubai Media Office has asked companies to send employees home if applicable and use online applications for meetings. Business trips, unless necessary, are also to be put on hold.
Video and voice call application by Dubai Health Authority for virtual consultations
To minimize commutes to clinics for consultations regarding the coronavirus, the Dubai Health Authority is providing residents an application that allows them to communicate for free with healthcare professionals.
"Dubai residents and visitors can book a video or audio call appointment by calling 800342 and downloading the DHA app," the authority announced this week.
Switching to e-learning while schools remain closed
Only a handful of educational institutions in the region offer e-learning options and even then, the bulk of the education process happens in classrooms.
The UAE is one of the only regional nations that has already been moving towards building a digital infrastructure that can facilitate e-classrooms. The country continuously launches initiatives aimed at bolstering this kind of learning process. These include "Madrasa," an e-learning platform offered in Arabic.
Delivery apps offer "no contact drop-off service"
One of the most advanced sectors in the UAE, especially in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, is the delivery app one.
Residents can order anything from clothes and meds to vegetables and proper meals without leaving the comfort of their own home.
Soon enough, food delivery app giants like Zomato and Deliveroo will be sending emails regarding "no contact drop-off service" for concerned people.
Sterilization campaigns are taking over public transports in Dubai
Slightly far from technology as a solution yet highly effective, cleaning and sterilization campaigns have been taking course regularly across all public transport means in Dubai.
Metro stations and tubes, as well as busses, are hubs for human concentration, which means daily deep-cleaning is mandatory.