Abu Dhabi: In recognition of workers' contribution to the country, Abu Dhabi Government said on Sunday that it had prioritised the interests of workers during COVID-19 challenges and provided them with free testing for coronavirus in the emirate, while facilitating the return of 180,000 workers back to their respective home countries over the past three months.
During COVID-19 testing, a large number of workers from all localities of worker’s accommodations in Abu Dhabi, including the industrial zones, were provided free testing for the virus.
These were expatriate workers who had lost their jobs and were helped by the Abu Dhabi Government for their accommodation and meals, ensuring that all their rights were met before they took a flight back home, said the Committee for Emergency Management, Crises and Disasters to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic in Abu Dhabi.
The committee, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Department of Health and Department of Economic Development, designed several programmes to ensure the protection of workers’ rights, security and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the start of the global health crisis, the committee has ensured a safe working environment that takes into account all precautionary measures and in accordance with the highest international standards, and the application of preventive health measures to ensure the safety of workers from transmission, the committee said on Sunday.
The committee also provided free medical examination to all residents of industrial and workers’ cities and free treatment for those who were infected with the virus.
Workers were provide with educational material in several languages and through several means to educate them about the risks of COVID-19 and ways to prevent the infection, the committee said.
Workers' affairs were continuously followed by the committee to check on the conditions of the workers and it coordinated with the relevant authorities to provide an adequate living environment for the workers who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic. These relief measures included measures for providing housing and food. The committee also coordinated with various bodies to ensure that the workers received their wages, dues, financial allocations and rights, the committee said.
The committee has coordinated the return journeys of more than 180,000 workers over the past three months, after ensuring that they were free of any infection and that they had received all their dues.
In keeping with the directives of the leadership in Abu Dhabi to protect workers’ rights, measures had been put in place over the past few years for protection of workers' right and improving the applicable regulatory systems.
The committee said that all these measures reflect the emirate’s commitment towards ensuring fair treatment for all workers, protect and treat them with dignity and respect and without any discrimination.