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Dubai: In a bid to further optimise cargo operations and capacity, Emirates SkyCargo has also started loading cargo in the overhead bins and seats of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft. This move has been made in response to growing customer demand out of key markets.

With close to 100 daily cargo flights operated to a destination network spanning more than 65 cities across six continents, Emirates SkyCargo is leading the global cargo industry during these critical times in delivering essential supplies and commodities to people around the world.

The air cargo carrier is currently operating 11 Boeing 777 freighter aircraft, each with a capacity to transport about 100 tonnes of cargo per flight and around 60 of its Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft as dedicated cargo aircraft, with a 40-50 tonne belly hold cargo capacity per flight.

“We took a measured approach to the loading of cargo inside the cabins of our Boeing 777-300ER passenger aircraft. Safety of our people and operations is the first priority for us and we had to therefore evaluate the demand from the market against potential risks to our operations. We have now, after a complete evaluation, rolled out a detailed set of guidelines and procedures including strict rules on the kind of cargo that can be loaded inside the cabin,” said Nabil Sultan, Emirates Divisional Senior Vice President, Cargo

Emirates SkyCargo has operated flights from stations such as Tokyo and New Delhi with cargo in the overhead bins and seats and are now in a position to be able to safely and optimally respond to customer demands for additional cargo capacity from main global production markets.

“We will be operating more flights over the coming weeks with cargo in both the belly as well as inside the main cabin. In addition, we are also looking at other measures including the removal of seats from select aircraft to deploy on high demand trade lanes,” said Sultan.

For the loading of cargo in the seats and overhead bins inside passenger cabin of the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, the air cargo carrier has developed a robust set of guidelines for its global teams on handling procedures and has also introduced a smart calculator application to help its employees around the world to calculate optimal loading capacity inside the passenger cabin of Emirates’ Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

Emirates SkyCargo would be able to provide up to 24 tonnes of additional cargo capacity with complete loading of overhead bins and seats in its Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.


Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said face coverings worn by the general public "will be useful" as the UK comes out of the current lockdown.

The Scottish government already recommends people use face coverings when in shops and on public transport.

Why doesn't everyone wear a mask now?

The World Health Organization (WHO) currently says only two groups of people should wear protective masks, those who are:

• sick and showing symptoms
• caring for people suspected to have coronavirus
• It says medical masks should be reserved for healthcare workers.

Masks are not generally recommended for the public because:

• they can be contaminated by other people's coughs and sneezes, or when putting them on or removing them
• frequent hand-washing and social distancing are more effective
• they might offer a false sense of security

But that doesn't mean they have no benefit at all for the general public - it's just that the scientific evidence is weak.

The WHO says countries must weigh the risks and benefits when it comes to advising the whole populations about wearing face coverings.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control agrees that medical face masks should be prioritised for healthcare workers.

But it says non-surgical face masks might help stop the spread of coronavirus by people who are contagious but have no symptoms (known as asymptomatic transmission).

Scientists in Singapore suggest that risk is especially high in the 24-48 hours before an infected person is even aware they might have the disease.

Coronavirus is spread by droplets that can spray into the air when those infected talk, cough and sneeze. These can enter the body through the eyes, nose and mouth, either directly or after touching a contaminated object.

What is the UK advice on face masks?

The Scottish government's updated guidance is not compulsory and suggests people use cloth coverings, such as a scarf, rather than "medical grade face masks". Face coverings should not be used for children under the age of two years, according to the guidance.

Advice for England, Wales and Northern Ireland has not changed and masks have not been recommended.

UK government ministers have previously raised concerns about the evidence and whether the move might result in shortages of medical face masks for the NHS.

On 18 April, more than 100 doctors wrote a letter to The Times saying they were "alarmed at official inaction over the need for the public to wear homemade face masks".

And London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged people to use non-medical face coverings, such as a scarf or bandana, when social distancing is not possible.

On 30 April, during the government's daily coronavirus press briefing, Mr Johnson said face covering would give people confidence that they can go back to work once the current lockdown measures are eased.

What face masks are used by health workers?

The widespread use of face masks by the public could put NHS supplies at risk, says Chris Hopson, chief executive of NHS Providers.

In hospitals, different types of mask offer different grades of protection. The most protective is an FFP3 or, alternatively, an N95 or an FFP2.

NHS staff in lower-risk situations can wear a surgical mask. This includes healthcare workers within one metre of a patient with possible or confirmed Covid-19. These staff may be in hospitals, primary care, ambulance trusts, community care settings and care homes.


The stem cell treatment has been developed by a team of doctors and researchers at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center.

UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, have congratulated the UAE people for the scientific achievement of developing potential treatment for Covid-19 infections.

The stem cell treatment has been developed by a team of doctors and researchers at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center (ADSCC).

It involves extracting stem cells from the patient's own blood and reintroducing them after activating them.

Their Highnesses thanked, on behalf of the people of the UAE, the team of doctors, researchers and support staff at ADSCC for their efforts in making this scientific breakthrough which, they said, will add to the global efforts to contain the spread of Covid-19 and ensure the health and safety of the people of the world.

They emphasised that people's health and safety are given top priority in the UAE's plans and strategies and that the country will continue to enhance its proactive measures and initiatives to ensure the safety of its citizens, residents and visitors.

Their Highnesses also underlined the early precautionary and preventive measures taken by the UAE since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis.
They praised the efforts of all sectors and entities and their staff for performing their duties at the highest possible level of efficiency, responsibility and professionalism in these critical times.

They paid special tribute to the front-line heroes of healthcare professionals, including nurses, doctors, and paramedics.

The UAE leaders' praise, which was conveyed in a tweet from the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), endorses that of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP).

In a statement on Friday, MOHAP said: "The Ministry is following with great attention the developments of this breakthrough and fully supports the earnest efforts being made by the team of scientists and medical experts from the Ministry and the academia to provide treatment to Covid-19 patients."

As part of the UAE's desire to protect public health and to ensure recover and well-being of Covid-19 patients, ADSCC conducted medical experiments on cell therapy, regenerative medicine and cutting-edge research on stem cells with encouraging results.

This scientific breakthrough is a testament to the UAE's commitment to bring an end to the Covid-19 pandemic.


DUBAI: Adult stem cell therapy is dubbed as the new healing force of the 21st century, much as the internet revolutionised the past century.

Now, UAE researchers have demonstrated they're in the leading edge of this breakthrough in medicine. Abu Dhabi-based doctors have announced pioneering work in stem cell therapy to repair lung damage caused by coronavirus infection. One simple yet fascinating aspect of this new therapy: it's administered through inhalation.

It's a potential "wow" moment for immunotherapy and regenerative medicine — the Abu Dhabi team sucessfully treated 73 COVID-19 patients, who were cured of COVID-19 before hospital discharge.

Numerous vaccine trials are undeway for COVID-19, but a safe and effective jab that can be used on a massive scale on healthy patients is at least a year away.

Speaking at a press conference on coronavirus updates on Saturday night, Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Head Hematology and ncology Department at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi, explained the results of the stem cell therapy.

“At the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, we are proud to work on developing a supportive treatment for COVID-19 patients which is undergoing clinical trials for the first time in the UAE. This is a national achievement,” Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, who is part of the stem cell research team against COVID-19.

The announced treatment is supportive and not curative, she explained, and helps alleviate COVID-19 symptoms rather than eradicating the virus itself.

How many COVID-19 patients were treated with UAE stem cell therapy? Treatment was administered on 73 confirmed positive COVID-19 patients, and was considered a success, after they were cured of the virus by inhaling the treatment into their lungs after it has been "nebulised into a fine mist".

"The pioneering treatment is hypothesised to have its therapeutic effect by regenerating lung cells and modulating the immune response to keep it from overreacting to the COVID-19 infection and causing further damage to healthy cells." - Abu Dhabi stem cell therapy team


The American Heart Association (AHA) issued interim cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines that apply during the COVID-19 pandemic. The AHA recommended bystanders and lay rescuers administer “hands only” CPR without mouth-to-mouth ventilation to limit exposures to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

Those administering CPR as first aid also should consider covering their own and the cardiac arrest victim’s nose and mouth with a face mask or cloth to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission. Rescuers should use an automated external defibrillator (AED), if one is available, because defibrillation is not expected to generate aerosol particles.

The risks of infection can be even higher when administering CPR in a healthcare facility.

Healthcare workers already are at the highest risk of acquiring SARS-CoV-2, according to the AHA, and administering CPR creates additional risks:

  • CPR can involve a number of aerosol-generating procedures that include performing chest compressions, providing positive-pressure ventilation, and establishing an advanced airway through intubation;
  • Resuscitation can require providers to work in close proximity to one another and the patient; and
  • The urgency to resuscitate a patient in cardiac arrest can result in lapses in infection-control protocols.

  • The AHA recommended additional precautions for emergency medical services (EMS) technicians and healthcare workers. Both EMS personnel and healthcare workers should don personal protective equipment (PPE) to guard against contact with both airborne and droplet particles before entering a patient room or scene of a cardiac arrest. Only essential personnel should be allowed in the room or on the scene.

    EMS personnel and healthcare workers should protect themselves and their colleagues from unnecessary exposure to confirmed or suspected COVID-19 infections, according to the AHA.

    Healthcare facilities should consider replacing manual chest compressions with mechanical CPR devices to reduce the number of rescuers required in a room. Intubation involves a high risk of aerosolization, but a closed-loop ventilation system has a lower risk of aerosolization than other ventilation methods.

    Healthcare workers should use a bag mask with a tight seal and an attached high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter before intubation or if intubation must be delayed. Healthcare workers also should consider using video laryngoscopy to reduce exposure to aerosolized particles during intubation.

    The AHA, in collaboration with the American Academy of Pediatrics, American Association for Respiratory Care, American College of Emergency Physicians, American Society of Anesthesiologists, and Society of Critical Care Anesthesiologists, with the support of the American Association of Critical Care Nurses and National EMS Physicians, compiled the interim guidelines.
    The National Safety Council (NSC) announced its support for and recommendation of the interim CPR guidelines.

    Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards require employers to provide medical services and first aid, and some include requirements for employee training in CPR.

    OSHA’s general industry medical services and first-aid standard (29 CFR 1910.151) requires that employers have personnel trained in first aid but does not contain a specific requirement for CPR training. Voluntary guidelines recommend that employers have personnel trained in providing CPR and the use of AEDs.

    Other standards do have CPR training requirements. For example, the electric power generation, transmission, and distribution (1910.269); logging operations (1910.266); and permit-required confined spaces standards (1910.146) all have requirements for employee CPR training.


    Khaleej Times speak to a few Muslim medical workers who are braving this challenge and have chosen to fast even while on the tough duty of dealing with Covid-19 patients.

    While the UAE's Fatwa Council has announced that coronavirus patients and medical workers on the frontline may opt-out from fasting during the holy month of Ramadan, Khaleej Times speak to a few Muslim medical workers who are braving this challenge and have chosen to fast even while on the tough duty of dealing with Covid-19 patients on a daily basis.

    My son's letter took my stress away

    British Pakistani Rahila Bhatti, a 43-year-old endocrinologist at Mediclinic Parkview Hospital, has been serving as the Covid-19 ward in-charge doctor for the past few weeks at the hospital.

    Being in her protective gear most of the time during her 9 to 10-hour shift does not deter the mother of three from fasting.

    "I chose to fast because it gives me the strength to handle the stress - emotional, mental and physical - of dealing with Covid-19 positive cases. In fact, sometimes I get inspiration from my Covid-positive patients, who are sick and exempted from fasting, yet they choose to fast because they say it helps them cope with the disease," Bhatti said.

    "The hardest part is to stay away from my family - comprising husband and three kids in the age group six to 12 - for long hours. My kids are sleeping when I leave and I only see them in the evening briefly before I put them to bed. I am scared and pray that I never bring any infection back home, so I even avoid hugging and kissing them."

    Bhatti tries to get back home by Iftar and immediately after takes a shower before rushing to prepare Iftar. "Although I have domestic help, I like to prepare meals with my children helping in the kitchen."

    Narrating a heart touching incident, Bhatti said: "One day I came back from work and broke down due to stress. My son, Anas, who noticed this gave me a letter the next day titled ' I love you mom'. His letter took all my stress and pain away and taught me to stay strong and be resilient.

    "In his letter, he wrote, 'You are the best mom anyone could ever have .. I am so sorry that we annoy you when you come back home. This card is to show my love for you.You cook food for me.. you work hard in this time and may Allah bless you so much this Ramadan..Whenever I wake up in the morning and you are already gone, I wish I had woken up before. Even though I know you are going to fight against corona.I wish that virus never came. But we all know that Allah sent it for a reason. I hope you have so much reward for helping people with coronavirus-19. I would love to give you as much support as I can. When you feel sad, I am also sad, so let us try not to get you sad."

    Duty always comes first

    Mohamed Nabil Al Shafei, a 26-year-old Egyptian nurse working in the emergency department (ER) at the Prime Hospital, is glad he is being able to give his time and energy to serve the people.

    He is one of the frontline healthcare workers who receive Covid-19 patients from the ambulance to the ER of Prime Hospital. "Some of these patients are already diagnosed with the virus while for others, we run scans and tests to help with the diagnosis. Since we cannot determine whether they are Covid-positive or not, I have to be in my PPE for all the 12 hoursI am on duty. It does make fasting a bit difficult as the PPE suit is a bit suffocating. I have now gotten used to it."

    Nabil, who stays alone in Dubai, cooks Suhoor and Iftar meals and brings it to work. "I work in two shifts - sometimes day and sometimes at night, therefore I need to eat healthily and prefer home-made food. I do miss my family and wish they were here with me, especially during Ramadan time. I manage to make my own Egyptian meals similar to the ones my mother made back home.

    He has been fasting from a young age and the fast doesn't his 12-hour schedule. "It is difficult but I don't mind it because I am getting a chance to serve people during these tough times."

    While entering the medical profession, Nabil had taken an oath to serve people in all circumstances and had been practising it for the last six years. "My job is to be on the frontlines and not to be scared. I am focused on my job which is in the critical care department. When I receive people, I see them looking scared and yet hopeful, so I have to remain strong. It is my faith in Allah and following his commandments that help me stay rock solid. We have to battle this pandemic and if we, qualified healthcare professionals, get scared how will we protect others?" he asks.

    "We stay so busy that it is hard to take time out to even to go for Iftar or prayer.A number of my non-Muslim colleagues come forward to support me. They cover up for me at least for 20 minutes for Iftar and prayer. I have to complete my Suhoor or Iftar meals within minutes, but that is alright. Duty always comes first."

    Leading with a stress-free environment

    Managing a team of 10 doctors - all of whom are fasting - Dr Mustafa Saif, Internal Medicine Specialist and head of emergency department at Aster Hospital Mankhool, does not stop him from performing discharging duties and also taking out time for prayers.

    "As a doctor active in the frontline, life is challenging during Ramadan. I am leading a group of 10 doctors and all of them are fasting. Managing the shift duties of the these team members is a bit challenging as we follow a day shift of eight hours and a night shift of 12 hours.

    Dr Said said that doctors in the day shift receive help from supporting staff, but it gets challenging for those in the night shift to manage their Iftar, Taraweeh prayers and Suhoor. "Our hospital distributes individual Iftar and Suhoor meals to all the staff present in the facility. But, it is bit difficult to offer our prayers on time as we are working in the Covid ward, wearing the personal protective equipment," he said.

    Dr Saif is working in a hospital which has dedicated a number of its floors for Covid-19 treatment. "We saw more cases of respiratory infections or suspected Covid cases before Ramadan. Gradually, the footfall came down with stringent measures in place. Now, after the partial release of the lockdown, we might see an increase in the footfall. I receive an average of 20 to 25 Covid-suspected cases every day.


    Dubai: Just because Dubai is easing restrictions on movement and shopping from April 26, it doesn’t mean the emirate is foregoing its fight against the novel coronavirus.

    To stop the spread of COVID-19, Dubai has been proactive in testing – over a million have been conducted so far - and offering support for recuperation for those infected. Now, as metros and buses start on their routes, the Roads and Transport Authority is taking precautions such as distributing and putting up stickers promoting awareness and social distancing rules across stations and aboard bogies.

    These stickers address often asked questions such as how many passengers are allowed on a taxi at a time? What’s a good distance to maintain social distancing? And what is the proper protocol for travelling.

    In addition, the RTA has urged extra caution while travelling: masks are manditory, an advisory calls for reaching the station 30 minutes prior to travel and selecting a bogie where social distancing, including alternate seating arrangements, can be maintained.

    So what are the operating times?

    Saturday to Thursday 7am-11pm; Friday 10am-11pm


    The UAE has conducted more than a million Covid-19 tests, the Ministry of Heath and Prevention said on Saturday. "We continue to increase Covid-19 tests to identify cases as early as possible, with more than 14 testing centres around the UAE, including drive-through testing facilities and home testing for people of determination," said Dr Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention.

    The country announced 532 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, taking the total tally to 9,813. There were also 127 new recoveries, with the total now at 1,887. Seven new deaths were reported.

    The increase in cases is expected, the minister said, as the UAE ramps up testing among its population. As many as 1,022,326 tests have been done up to April 25.

    Getting more than a million tests done also "reflects the amount of efforts done by our frontline healthcare providers across the UAE", Dr Al Owais added.

    "I am conveying to you a message from our frontline healthcare providers across the UAE: We are determined to continue caring for you and protect your health. We highly appreciate your commitment and cooperation to prevent the spread of coronavirus."

    Besides healthcare frontliners, the Emirati scientific community has also been stepping up to the plate in the war on Covid-19.

    Dr Alawi El Sheikh Ali, the official spokesperson for the advanced science sector in the UAE, said: "We have been examining more than 58 studies to better understand Covid-19 and laying out programmes to alleviate the pressure on medical centres."

    Teams from various universities are also developing medical equipment, he added. "We are looking to expand the scope of tests by adopting rapid tests yielding quick results. We are continuing our partnership with various bodies in this regard."

    Washington: Does sunlight rapidly destroy the coronavirus? A White House presentation on a mysterious government study says so - but some scientists have called for caution as we await more evidence.

    An official from the Department of Homeland Security made the eye-catching announcement during President Donald Trump's daily pandemic briefing Thursday, showing a dramatic reduction in the virus' viability under the sun's rays.

    But the fact there are no further details about how the study was conducted has left some experts scratching their heads.

    "It looks like someone did a test somewhere," Benjamin Neuman, chair of biological sciences at Texas A&M University-Texarkana, told AFP.

    "It would be good to know how the test was done."

    William Bryan, the official who summarized the findings, told reporters that an experiment was carried out at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center in Maryland.

    On a stainless steel surface in sunlight, the virus shrinks to half its amount in a matter of just two minutes in 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (21 to 24 degrees Celsius) heat and 80 per cent humidity, compared to six hours in the dark.

    When the virus was suspended in the air, its half-life in sunlight was just a minute and a half when the temperature was 70 to 75 degrees with 20 percent humidity, as opposed to one hour in the dark.

    Beyond the headline results, there are so far few details, making it impossible for experts to independently validate the findings.

    "As a scientist, I'd of course like to see an actual study and the actual numbers," viral epidemiologist Chris von Csefalvay told AFP.

    The ABCs of sunshine

    We do know that the solar radiation contained in ultraviolet light - an invisible, energetic part of the electromagnetic spectrum - can be very effective at dealing with certain pathogens.

    That is why, for example, the World Health Organization recommends that people in developing countries can place tap water in plastic bottles and leave them under the sun for five hours in order to make it drinkable.

    But not all microbes respond in the same way.

    Sunlight in fact contains different types of ultraviolet radiation, which are classed by their wavelength.

    Broadly speaking, these can be categorized into UVA, which causes the skin to tan and age; UVB, which is a bit more harmful in high doses and can cause burning and cancer, and UVC, which is the most dangerous.

    Most of the sunlight that penetrates our atmosphere is UVA while UVC is completely filtered out.

    That is good news for us: UVC has small, high energy waves that are particularly adept at warping genetic material, whether in animal cells or in viruses.

    A 2004 study on SARS - a close genetic relative of the new coronavirus - found that UVA light "had no effect on viability, regardless of duration of exposure."

    UVC light - which is commonly used to sterilize labs, hospitals and now even buses in China - completely inactivated the virus within 15 minutes.

    Moot point?

    It is entirely possible that the SARS-CoV-2 virus is more vulnerable to regular sunlight than its older cousin, and not just UVC.

    The problem is the DHS has bypassed scientific norms by not making its data available - even in its preliminary, non peer-reviewed form, which is how most major research during this pandemic has first made its way into the public domain.

    "It would be really important for understanding this study to know how it was conducted, and I am quite hopeful that the actual paper, or at least a pre-print, will be shared soon," said von Csefalvay.

    "I know for a fact that the scientific community is eager to review their findings."

    But even if all the findings are airtight, solar disinfection is probably going to have a limited impact.

    After all, people are less likely to be infected outdoors than indoors, unless they are directly coughed or sneezed upon - in which case UV rays won't have time to inactivate the viral droplets before they hit their target.

    On the other hand, UVB can help boost the immune system by causing the body to produce more Vitamin D.

    All of this points to the need for more research. But one thing is clear: President Trump's suggestion that UV could be used to treat patients already infected with the virus isn't grounded in fact.

    "There is no way currently that UV could be used to irradiate inside the body that would do any good," Paul Hunter, a professor of medicine at the University of East Anglia said.


    Wuhan, China — SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, can be transmitted through the air beyond 6 feet and tracked across floors, results of a recent study conducted by researchers in China show.

    The researchers collected swab samples from potentially contaminated objects in an intensive care unit and a general ward at Huoshenshan Hospital in Wuhan from Feb. 19 to March 2. The objects included floors, computer mice, trash cans, bed handrails, patient masks and personal protective equipment; indoor air and air outlets also were sampled. The ICU contained 15 patients with severe COVID-19, while the general ward had 24 patients with “milder disease.”

    SARS-CoV-2 was detected in the air as much as 13 feet from the patients – more than twice the 6 feet distance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for adequate physical distancing. Further, medical staff tracked the virus on the floor, as indicated by a 100% positive rate in a pharmacy where no patients were allowed.

    “We highly recommend that persons disinfect shoe soles before walking out of wards containing COVID-19 patients,” the researchers said, adding that the rate of positivity was also “relatively high” on objects frequently touched by medical staff, including computer mice, trash cans, bed handrails and doorknobs.

    “Sporadic positive results were obtained from sleeve cuffs and gloves of medical staff,” the study states. “These results suggest that medical staff should perform hand hygiene practices immediately after patient contact.”

    Disinfecting patient masks before discarding them also is recommended.

    The study was published online April 10 in the CDC journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.


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