Emirati national working from home
An Emirati working from home. Photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Stock image

Abu Dhabi: A group of local departments in Abu Dhabi have started a trial phase of the remote work system in a number of departments to ensure employees complete transactions from their homes, in preparation to applying the comprehensive system of remote work in all governmental and semi-governmental departments, bodies and institutions in Abu Dhabi.

Authorities have embarked on establishing the infrastructure to create a so-called “temporary digital government” to manage the affairs of the emirate and all departments by applying the distance work system as a precautionary measure to counter developments in the fight against coronavirus.

Some entities in the Abu Dhabi government have already started implementing the pilot project.

Starting next week, the system will be applied officially, where all employees have been informed and some authorities have provided a number of officials and heads of departments with laptops fitted with special programmes that allow them to access the system and deal with files and information.

In order to maintain the confidentiality of the information and avoid leaks outside the electronic system of those entities, the system does not allow the user to perform any operations outside the scope of what is authorised just as the case when the employee is at the workplace.

The remote work system applications will be safeguarded through protection programmes to ensure complete confidentiality of information and data and prevent any leakage.

Authorities will gradually start applying the remote work system so that head of department will manage it remotely and allow employees to work collectively as if they are working from their offices.

A number of local departments have purchased laptops to distribute to a select group of employees and heads of departments to start the application of remote work within a comprehensive system (the temporary electronic government of Abu Dhabi).

Meanwhile, the laptop market in Abu Dhabi has witnessed a shortage over the past few days due to the high demand for these devices.

The Abu Dhabi Government purchased thousands of laptops and distributed them to schools for implementing the distance learning system, which is expected to continue until the end of the current academic year.

The application of the remote work system within the temporary electronic government aims to reduce the presence of the number of employeesin governmental and semi-governmental departments in Abu Dhabi.

Emergency and vital services will be exempt from the distance work arrangements and will be run under the direct supervision of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

Pandemic response

The coronavirus outbreak has been labelled a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO).

WHO chief Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the number of cases outside China has increased 13-fold in two weeks. He said he was “deeply concerned” by the “alarming levels of inaction”.

A pandemic is a disease that spreads in multiple countries around the world at the same time.

Dr Tedros said: “Some countries are struggling with a lack of capacity. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resources. Some countries are struggling with a lack of resolve.”

WHO has asked all countries to:

• Activate and scale-up emergency response mechanisms

• Communicate with people about the risks and how they can protect themselves

• Find, isolate, test and treat every Covid-19 case and trace every contact