DUBAI: The UAE on Tuesday recorded 3,382 new COVID-19 cases, a record daily high for the third consecutive day, and three deaths related to the virus.
Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) said the total number of cases since the pandemic began had reached 242,969, while the death toll rose to 726.
Some 2,671 people had recovered from the virus in the past 24 hours. The total number of recoveries is 215,820.
MoHAP released a video informing the public who has priority for the COVID-19 vaccine, the procedures to get the vaccine, and the possible symptoms after vaccination.

Who has the priority to receive Covid-19 vaccination? What are the procedures to get the vaccine? What are the possible symptoms after vaccination? Watch the full video to answer your inquiries..#TogetherWeRecover#covid19#mohap_uae

— وزارة الصحة ووقاية المجتمع الإماراتية – MOHAP UAE (@mohapuae) January 14, 2021

During daily inspection tours, Dubai Economy issued fines to eight shops and a warning to another for failing to adhere to anti-COVID-19 measures.
Dubai Municipality closed two shisha cafes for not adhering to the precautionary measures and issued warnings to 37 establishments, while Dubai Tourism closed down one venue and issued three fines and one warning to other non-compliant venues.

.@Dubai_DED are conducting daily inspections to ensure businesses and establishments continue to adhere to Covid-19 precautionary measures, after carrying out more than 140,000 inspections in the past year.

— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) January 13, 2021

The citizens affairs bureau in Ajman launched a campaign to provide vaccinations to the elderly and those with chronic illnesses in their homes.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Majid Al-Nuaimi, the bureau’s director-general, said the service would be provided by mobile medical teams.
The emirate of Sharjah has turned its Expo Center into a vaccination center “as a part of the (health) ministry’s strategy to increase the capacity and add new facilities to the vaccination campaign,” the ministry said.

After reaching 1 million doses of vaccination in the country, Expo Center Sharjah begins receiving the increasing numbers of society members to obtain Covid-19 vaccine as a part of the Ministry’s strategy to increase the capacity & add new facilities to the vaccination campaign.

— وزارة الصحة ووقاية المجتمع الإماراتية – MOHAP UAE (@mohapuae) January 13, 2021

The health and education ministries said they also set up vaccination centers on campuses and a teacher training institute for two days in Ajman and Fujairah where they vaccinated nearly 3,000 students, teachers and staff.

نتقدم إلى طالبات كلية فاطمة للعلوم الصحية(فرع عجمان)بخالص الشكر والتقدير والعرفان على ما بذلنه من جهود مخلصة في تقديم الدعم اللازم لحملة تطعيم الكوادر التعليمية والتربوية في معهد تدريب المعلمين في عجمان..بصماتهن كانت عاملا مهما في تحقيق نجاح لافت وتحقيق الحملة أهدافها المنشودة

— وزارة التربية (@MOEducationUAE) January 14, 2021

Meanwhile, a 97 year-old Emirati citizen received his first dose of the coronavirus vaccine in Abu Dhabi.
Nakhira Obaid Saeed Al-Dhaheri decided to take the vaccination like the rest of his family, who encouraged him to do so in support of the efforts of the Abu Dhabi government, his son said.
“From my experience with my father, I want to encourage all members of society, especially senior citizens and residents, to take the COVID-19 vaccination to protect them, and to take information from the official authorities and not to heed to rumors,” he told WAM news agency.
Elsewhere, Kuwait reported 560 new coronavirus cases, raising the total number to 156,434. The death toll remained 946 after no coronavirus-related deaths was reported in the previous 24 hours.

تعلن #وزارة_الصحة⁩ عن تأكيد إصابة 560 حالة جديدة، وتسجيل 252 حالة شفاء، ولم تسجل أي حالة وفاة جديدة بـ ⁧#فيروس_كورونا_المستجدّ⁩ COVID-19 ، ليصبح إجمالي عدد الحالات 156,434 حالة

— وزارة الصحة – الكويت (@KUWAIT_MOH) January 14, 2021

Oman’s health ministry confirmed 178 new cases and one death, bringing the totals to 131,264 and 1,509, respectively.

#Statement No. 267
January 14, 2021

— وزارة الصحة – عُمان (@OmaniMOH) January 14, 2021

In Bahrain, no deaths was reported, keeping the death toll to 356, while 341 new infected cases were confirmed.

Out of 12926 COVID-19 tests carried out on 14 January 2021, 341 new cases have been detected among 178 expatriate workers, 155 new cases are contacts of active cases, and 8 are travel related. There were 169 recoveries from #COVID19, increasing total recoveries to 93329

— وزارة الصحة | مملكة البحرين (@MOH_Bahrain) January 14, 2021

DUBAI: The Egyptian construction sector, like much of the rest of the world, is battling slowdown effects from the coronavirus pandemic.

Even as its capital city Cairo gingerly reopens following a nationwide lockdown, construction firms face a range of challenges such as socially distanced labor shifts and therefore lower capacity.

That’s according to Radwa Rostom, the founder of Hand Over, a design and build company dedicated to bringing sustainable buildings to Egypt’s masses.

She says her mission is “to transform the construction industry by creating an alternative that is sustainable and cost-effective, as well as inspiring a community development approach through social projects.”

UAE confirms 3,382 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
This picture taken on March 13, 2020 shows an aerial view of ongoing construction development at Egypt’s “New Administrative Capital” megaproject, some 45 kilometres east of Cairo. (AFP/File Photo)

Founded in 2015, the 10-person enterprise has already successfully delivered a range of projects, such as a community center for bedouins in Saint Catherine, in collaboration with the “Catherine Exists” initiative; a community school on the outskirts of Giza, in collaboration with Man Ahyaha NGO; and the environmentally friendly headquarters of a new agricultural startup company.

Rostom says Hand Over will be pushing ahead with a new spate of projects, despite some clients having faced funding issues due to the economic effects of coronavirus. “It hasn’t been a smooth ride but we are trying to be visionary and look ahead. The virus won’t always be here,” she said.

The upcoming months will see the commencement of phase two of the bedouin community center — an adjoining education unit. Hand Over is also working on a healing retreat building and has plans to build a community school in Upper Egypt, with funds from local corporate social responsibility campaigns.


‘Rammed Earth Technique’

The technique is a cheaper alternative to using concrete and steel, plus is good for hot climates.

She said: “We utilize sustainable materials that are available within our community and show how we can use them wisely. We involve the community in the construction, so they will also gain new knowledge that they can use by themselves.”

Most of Hand Over’s current development projects are administered hand-in-hand with local NGOs, however Hand Over is also making a play for the commercial sustainable construction market. “As some of our NGO-partnered projects are on hold, we have begun promising discussions with real estate firms for professional design and build contracts. We have also established conversations with Egypt’s growing community of ecotourism developers,” Rostom said.

Hand Over uses innovative building processes, such as the “rammed earth” technique. The company also promotes the idea of sustainability in design and makes use of natural resources, such as sunlight. “The rammed earth technique is a cheaper alternative to using concrete and steel. It is good for hot climates because it provides good insulation.”

UAE confirms 3,382 new COVID-19 cases, 3 deaths
This picture taken on June 20, 2020 shows a view of the exterior of the currently under construction Sharm El-Sheikh Museum, in the Red Sea resort city on the southern tip of Egypt’s Sinai peninsula. (AFP/File Photo)

By using local materials and laborers, Hand Over’s construction costs are lowered and the revenues are channeled back into the community. The company’s projects are often structured around a “wall bearing” system, which means the building is dependent on a wall for support — this type of solution is cost-effective.

In the coming months, Hand Over will explore the provision of consultancy services, such as energy efficiency simulation, to further support the local construction industry. The company is also looking into supplying the sector with “blocks” (bricks) made of sustainable materials.

According to Rostom, the Egyptian construction sector is still in the early stages of take-up of sustainable solutions. “There is so much awareness building still to be done. We have work to do to show how buildings can be sustainably erected, right from the start of the process,” she said.

“We want to showcase that it is possible to use sustainable materials, designs that make use of natural resources, all while engaging local hiring to support the community.”


This report is being published by Arab News as a partner of the Middle East Exchange, which was launched by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives to reflect the vision of the UAE prime minister and ruler of Dubai to explore the possibility of changing the status of the Arab region.