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Long lines at UAE’s Covid screening sites

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Demand for PCR testing for covid has trebled in some screening centers in recent days. Following stricter workplace regulations and ahead of New Year celebrations.

A surge in testing has seen lengthy queues at test sites and clinics in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

According to reports, demand for trips over the festive period has increased partly because of changes in access requirements to Abu Dhabi and venues across the country.

The number of tests recorded Thursday was 425,682, one of the highest ever. The number of new cases was 2,366, the highest since March 2021.

ALSO READ: UAE action against wildlife trafficking

The sudden surge in RT-PCR test for covid

“We have observed a sudden surge in RT-PCR testing for covid, with the numbers increasing three-fold in the last couple of days,” said Dr. Naveen Tiwari, a specialist in clinical pathology at NMC Royal Hospital in Dubai.

“One of the reasons could be the New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“Observing the surge in the infection rates, people may be wanting themselves to be safe and secure about their health.

“We are trying to cope up with increasing demand. It has deployed additional staff for drive-through and walk-in sample collections.”

NMC centers across the country are together conducting about 5,000 tests a day. Mostly for white-collar workers like engineers, banking staff, and supervisors, the healthcare provider said.

Around 20 percent of all those asking for PCR tests are about to travel overseas. Require a negative test prior to departure.

Another major provider, VPS Healthcare, said it had also seen soaring demand for PCR tests in recent days.

The firm’s testing lab at Burjeel Medical City in Abu Dhabi has the capacity to conduct more than 10,000 tests a day. Since the onset of the pandemic, the lab has processed more than two million tests.

That includes standard PCR and rapid PCR tests, as well as saliva tests for pupils.

Capacity for New Year’s Eve celebrations will be scaled back to 80 percent capacity. The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority has said.

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World

Global Day of Education: Arab children fall behind due to digital poverty

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40 percent of children did not have access to remote learning

A report by the World Bank and UN agencies Unicef and Unesco states more than 37 million. Students were not able to learn remotely during lockdowns in 2020. Due to a lack of devices and internet connections. However, In the Middle East and North Africa, 40 percent of children did not have access to remote learning. During the coronavirus pandemic, the report shows.

Unicef Middle East and North Africa regional chief of advocacy and communication. Juliette Touma noted that “this group of children had no access to smartphones, laptops or tablets.”

ALSO READ: Omicron: 40 countries possess at least one ‘DANGEROUS’ version of Omicron

“They often had no access to TV or radio,” she said. “Covid-19 has made things worse by making it harder for the children to attend school.”

Experts told The National that the dropout rate and lack of 21st-century schooling are contributing to the crisis of education in the Mena region. Which has one of the world’s highest proportions of students unable to access remote learning.

With 48 percent of children not receiving education

In addition, Only Western and Central Africa had a worse outcome. With 48 percent of children not receiving education. Eastern and Southern Africa had 49 percent. No access to remote learning was available to 31 percent of children in 2020.

Even before the pandemic, 15 million children in Mena didn’t attend school because of poverty and conflict,.Said Ms Touma, speaking before World Education Day on Monday.

The region has been dealing with the crisis of education for years. She said, and Covid’s implication has definitely exacerbated it. She said it was “good” that all governments in the region put online their curriculum for children, regardless of their circumstances.

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Omicron: 40 countries possess at least one ‘DANGEROUS’ version of Omicron

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The rise of an Omicron descendant

The global medical community has been watching the rise of an Omicron descendant recently isolated from at least 40 countries, including the United States.

This variant of the coronavirus is known as BA 2. It is considered more stealthy than the original Omicron because of certain genetic traits. Some experts are also concerned that it may be more contagious.

Since mid-November, nearly 3 dozen countries have uploaded nearly 15,000 genetic sequences of BA2 to GISAID. A global platform for sharing coronavirus data As of Tuesday morning, 96 of the sequenced cases have come from the US Since mid-November.

Nearly three dozen countries have uploaded nearly 15,000 genetic sequences of BA2.  Including a handful from the US More than two dozen countries have uploaded genetic sequences across several other coronaviruses since last month.

ALSO READ: Images of Mars sent back by the UAE Hope probe

The mutant of Omicron appears to be much more common in Asia and Europe

“So far, we haven’t seen it spread” in the United States, said Dr Wesley Long of Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas. Which identified three cases of BA.2 in the past month.

The mutant appears to be much more common in Asia and Europe – in Denmark. It accounted for 45 percent of Covid-19 cases at the end of January, up from 20 percent two weeks earlier. According to Statens Serum Institut, which falls under the Danish Ministry of Health.

Around 20 of the mutations in BA.2’s spike protein share common features with the original Omicron. Yet it has other changes peculiar to BA.2.

If a population has already encountered the original Omicron. It’s not clear how significant the additional changes are, said Dr. Jeremy Luban, a virologist at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Interestingly, the first two analyses of BA.2 do not reveal any difference in hospitalization rates between it and the original Omicron. “We have some indications that it may be as contagious as or slightly more contagious than Omicron,” Dr. Long said.

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Will Oil Prices touch triple Digits in 2022? If it reaches what will the effect on growing nations.

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Oil slipped towards $84 a barrel, the first weekly loss in about two months.

The Crude has been hovering around $88 per barrel since the last 2021 ending. Can we see Oil Prices touch triple digits in 2022? If it goes there, what will impact growing nations like India and all?

oil price per barrel near 88

Market sentiments in the oil market are upbeat. Demand may rise as omicron’s fear is getting lesser with time. Now the question is will we see oil prices touch triple digits in 2022.

Last year from November 2022, we have to see the Global benchmark brent crude jump by 25%. It is around $88 per barrel from November 2022. Market analysts suggest demand will grow. Omicron’s fear is getting lesser now, which will spark demand, and Oil prices may increase in 2022.

However, prices fell towards the end of the year as new variants emerged, and conditions were placed again in several nations to contain the Omicron variant’s spread. Prices began rising at the close of the year, gaining permission from the record highs achieved in financial market indicators. Gains were supported by the reopening of economizing and anticipated faster economic development in the near term.

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