NEWS FROM THE UAE
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4-year old critical after airport fall
SHARJAH — Feb. 06:A four-year-old Bahraini boy was critically injured after falling from the first level of Sharjah International Airport last Friday.
The child, Suliman Shakir Al Ziyati, is currently lodged in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Al Qasimi Hospital here, with multiple fractures on the head and face.
The incident occurred while his parents were busy completing immigration formalities after arriving from Manama.
The child fell through an unlocked door where maintenance work is being carried out.
The immigration staff at the airport said they first heard loud screams of the boy’s mother. The police was immediately called in and the child was rushed to hospital.
According to a police source, a similar accident was reported at the same place recently, when a seven-year-old child fell from the first level of the airport. “The company carrying out the maintenance work is responsible for such accidents. They should have moved in to take preventive measures after the first accident itself,” the police source told Khaleej Times.
The police source added: “The site is still unsafe. The company could have at least placed some planks to block the door that leads to the area where maintenance work is under way.”
When contacted, a representative of the Sharjah International Airport’s Marketing and Research Deparment said the concerned airport official could not comment on the incident at the moment. She, however, assured that an official statement would be made soon.
The boy’s father, Shakir Al Ziyati, and the mother, are still in a state of shock.
Meanwhile, officials at Al Qasimi Hospital said the boy’s condition continues to be very serious.
I thought my baby was dead after birth - Says the Philipina Maid
Dubai - Feb.6: A Filipina who dumped her newborn baby in a rubbish bin within minutes of giving birth inside a toilet cubicle has claimed that she did not attempt to kill her baby and thought it was already dead. Speaking exclusively to 7DAYS from her detention centre at a police station in Dubai, the mother said: “When I gave birth, I did not hear the baby cry, I thought she was dead. I used the white plastic bag in the rubbish bin inside the toilet to wrap the baby in. I did not know what to do with it. I blacked out and when I came around I just put it in a rubbish bin outside the toilet.”
The 40-year-old maid, who is now looking after her child in the detention centre, added: “I did not intend to kill my baby. I had nothing with me except for my clothes. I had just failed my final driving test, and did not know that I would be delivering the baby. I was so scared.” The woman is now facing a charge of attempted murder.
Officials traced the mother, employed at a family home in Al Ain, after the abandoned baby was discovered crying in a skip by a taxi driver. MCT, a mother-of-two teenage children living in the Philippines, said she called her 28-year-old female employer in Al Ain after the birth on January 30.
“My madam was sympathetic, and asked me why I had done it. I told her I was too scared and too ashamed to confide in her and admit what I had done.”
The baby, who is in good health after being treated in hospital, is currently with her mother in the detention centre. “Another Filipina has offered to take care of the baby and I really don’t know what to do now. I don’t want to return home to the Philippines for now. I want this to be kept a secret especially from my husband whom I married when I was just 19-years-old.”
MCT admitted that the father of her baby girl was a Pakistani taxi driver who she had met just twice before falling pregnant. “Last year, I was asked to go out and buy some Arabic bread, and instead of taking me to the supermarket, he took me to his house,” she said, adding that she was unable to resist his sexual advances out of fear.
Consul General Antonio Curameng of the Philippine Consulate in Dubai said that he will be requesting free legal assistance for MCT from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila.
Abra night services increased
DUBAI – Feb. 06:The frequency of Abra’s night service on the Route No. 2 has been increased. This route connects the Dubai Old Market and Al Shabkha stations.
The decision comes following the growing demand for the service that operates between midnight and 6am.
Eng. Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of Marine Agency in the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the night service, which was launched in October last year, had been a great success, with a steady increase in the number of passengers
‘Don’t hike meningitis vaccine price’
DUBAI — Feb. 06:The Ministry of Health (MoH) has said no new meningitis case has been reported so far.
It has also asked private health establishments not to increase prices of meningitis vaccines.
The first confirmed case of the infectious disease was reported on January 31. Three other children were also admitted to a hospital complaining of similar symptoms. The health authorities have confirmed that they too are suffering from meningitis.
Dr Mariam Mattar, Assistant Under-Secretary of Public Health and Primary Healthcare Centres at the MoH, said the health authorities had received a positive response to its emergency plan to fight the spread of the disease.
“I’d like to say that there is no need for a mass vaccination as the disease has been contained.”
“However, if there is any need for such an action, the MoH has enough vaccines that can be administered free of charge to people.”
Dr Mattar also said there were reports that some private hospitals had increased the prices of approved vaccines.
“This is not a business,” she warned.
On the other hand, people yesterday flooded the MoH and several hospitals with calls asking for more information on preventing the disease.
“We have provided all the necessary information on the disease to Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and government hospitals which will be useful to the public,” said Dr Mattar.
To contain the spread of meningitis among students in the schools where the infected children were studying, the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) has asked teachers to check whether any child is showing any symptom of the disease.
“We have asked teachers to report any such cases to the authorities concerned. The attendance rates in classrooms are normal,” said Dr Ali Al Marzouqi, Director of Public Health Department, Dohms.
Fuel surcharges to be incorporated into airfare
DUBAI — Feb. 06:Emirates airline will incorporate fuel surcharges into its published fares for all tickets sold within the UAE from March 1, this year, according to an announcement made by the airline yesterday.
Ghaith Al Ghaith, Executive Vice-President, Commercial Operations Worldwide, said: “ Fuel cost is part of the operating cost of the airline, unlike airport taxes or security levies, and we feel that it makes more sense to our customers and to our travel trade partners, to make it a part of the fare.”
The policy, which will be implemented across the airline’s worldwide network during the course of 2007, has also been seen as a move that will “ensure greater transparency for the customer, and make it easier for travel agents to sell Emirates as they continue to benefit from generous commissions,” Al Ghaith added.
MoL seeks public opinion on revised UAE labour law
DUBAI — Feb. 06: The Ministry of Labour (MoL) yesterday announced the launch of a web site to seek public opinion regarding a revised UAE labour law. The new telecommunications operator in the UAE, du, has partnered with the MoL to develop the interactive portal.
At a joint Press conference held yesterday, the MoL and du announced that the web site, www.uaelabourlaw.net, will remain active for two months, starting today, inviting feedback from UAE residents. Initially, the web site will be in Arabic and it will soon be followed by an English version.
Dr Ali bin Abdullah Al Kaabi, Minister of Labour, said, “The labour law is one of the most important mechanisms that influence the market. It is based on transparency and our partnerships with labourers, business people and the society at large. This initiative is an important step in translating our vision of continuing development and providing access to government services using the latest communications technology. “In this age of fast paced information technology, an institution as vital as the Ministry of Labour needs to establish innovative and transparent channels of communication in order to effectively connect with the public. It is equally important to gather the opinion of those that the law will impact. The Internet is one of the most powerful tools today to interact with people.
“We are grateful that du, with its benchmark expertise, is our communications partner in this first of its kind initiative. With du’s support, we will use the portal’s results to evaluate the comprehensiveness and efficacy of the law.”
The UAE labour law, which was last amended in 1980, is being modified again after a period of 27 years. It is set to be finalised this December.
The ministry has invited all UAE residents to visit the portal and post their comments. The web site will be active until April 6 , following which the ministry will analyse the feedback and review the law on the basis of public opinion before it is passed.