COVID-19 travel pass
I want to thank the UAE Leadership and management, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic (“COVID-19 travel pass: All the health ‘passports’ you should know about”, Gulf News, June 12). I was travelling for work in April, and my husband was detected with COVID-19. The way the hospital management took care of his health is exemplary. We are currently in the Netherlands visiting our daughter, who is studying at Utrecht University. Without the EU Digital COVID-19 pass, you cannot even eat at a restaurant or visit any public avenue in the Netherlands. Lucky for us, UAE is one of the first non-EU countries to be a part of this network. Just before travelling, we downloaded two certificates from the Al Hosn app. First is the vaccination certificate for the travel shown at the Dubai airport. Second is the EU certificate for travelling. This certificate is so flawlessly integrated with the EU system that we have been able to use it at every avenue from the word go. Without this, we would have needed to be tested every other day, even to go to a restaurant. So, kudos to the UAE leadership once again.
From Ms Ragini Shenoy
A memorable event
My wife and I are from Kerala, and we came to Dubai to stay with our son for a few months. A few days back, my wife and I went to see the Dubai Miracle Garden. We hired a taxi using the Careem app. On reaching the Miracle garden, my wife paid Dh45 in cash to the driver. I had, by this time, alighted from the car, and asked my wife why she made an additional cash payment, since our son’s credit card was linked with the Careem app. By this time, the driver had already driven off. My wife called the driver (his phone number was fortunately available) and requested him to refund the money because the ride was already paid for. The driver replied that he would refund the money when he came to the starting point of the journey, and at that time, he would call us. After spending two to three hours in the park, we returned home. My wife received a call at that time from the driver. She then went downstairs, and the driver promptly returned the money! Only in Dubai, have we seen such acts of honesty. We feel a wonderful sense of security here.
From Mr K Narayanan Namboodiri
A delightful read!
This letter is regarding Radhika Acharya’s Off The Cuff opinion article (“Two years is a long time in the UAE. Or is it?”, Gulf News, December 16). The article’s title resonates with me as its been my tagline whenever I have left India as a trailing spouse. After staying in the African continent for nearly a decade, I recently said that to my family while relocating to the UAE.
From Ms Rohini Shetty
Ashes Test cricket series
The ongoing Ashes Test cricket series between Australia versus England seems to be going on one-way traffic. In their first test at Brisbane, Australians decimated Joe Root and his boys to win by a thumping nine wickets. While we expected England to bounce back at Adelaide, it seems there is no steam left in their team. Except for Root and Dawid Malan, none of them can tackle the pace batteries of Australia. Despite the absence of Cummins at Adelaide, the Australian bowlers were still able to bowl out Root and his men for just 236 and take a healthy lead. Even the England pace batteries seem to have no charge to price out 20 Australian wickets in a Test. Right after the turnaround defeat of Steve Waugh and his team during the Eden Garden Test cricket in 2001, they never had any guts to enforce follow on any cricket team, even when their lead was more than 300. Anyway, as things stand, it is going to be another whitewash for England in Australia.
From Mr N Mahadevan
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 is posing a severe threat. It brings back memories of the lockdown days in India, when all of us were immensely inconvenienced. To contain the Omicron variant, the Netherlands is going into a strict lockdown from December 19, 2021, to January 14, 2022. The city of London reported 26,000 cases on a single day on December 17. The UK Government is under pressure to impose more restrictions during the Christmas holidays to control the virus. However, it is better to be prudent rather than face illness during or after the festive holidays. This is immensely sensible. India should not be lulled into indifference to the new variant just because the daily number of infections are on the lower side, at less than 10,000 cases per day. Enforcing wearing masks and social distancing has proved difficult. Like many other developing countries, India had faced severe issues in arranging Intensive Care Units, beds, oxygen, and medicines when the virus viciously attacked the population in 2020-2021. India should also authorise the third booster shot for health workers and senior citizens. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Serum Institute of India (SII) has said that they may have to take a production cut of 50 per cent due to a weak demand from the Government of India. The SII has now boosted exports to the African countries. So, if India has the vaccines, the third booster jab should be authorised at the earliest. The third booster shot can be made voluntary, to begin with, so that those who wish to take it should be free to do so.
From Mr Rajendra Aneja