Things have been changing fast lately with the Covid-19 situation, and at times there’s been some confusion which has left everyone wondering what the official line actually is. In order to help avoid this, I’ve listed the official government channels where any updates on the situation are always released first.
So in no particular order, these are the vital social media accounts you need to be following if you want to be sure you’re getting the correct information (bear in mind that the rules differ between emirates so you’ll want to be aware of and follow the relevant channels for the emirate you live/work in):
1. Ministry of Health & Prevention UAE
All social channels: @mohapuae
Information includes the latest policies and requirements, for example on wearing a mask and gloves to leave the house etc, details for helpline numbers to call for any Coronavirus related queries and information on how to contact a virtual doctor online if required, how to get necessary medications without leaving the house and general updates pertaining to the situation in the country.
2. Dubai Health Authority
The account provides information regarding the latest in the emirate of Dubai including advice on how to sanitise your home, possessions such as keys and clothing that has been outside with you, workplace policies, how to boost your immunity as well as general country updates.
3. Department of Health Abu Dhabi
Similar to the Dubai Health Authority account, DoHsocial for Abu Dhabi gives the most up to date information for the emirate of Abu Dhabi and includes advice on how to book a COVID-19 screening appointment, how to volunteer if you have medical experience, how to prevent the spread of the disease along with general country updates.
There is also a new remote healthcare app to provide medical advice that DoH has launched which allows people to get referrals, prescriptions and medication delivery without visiting a hospital. The app can also check symptoms and then if needed, remote consultations with doctors via text, telephone or video calling can be booked. For more information visit the DoH webpage or click the relevant link to download the app on the iPhone App Store or Google Play.
The Department of Health has also introduced another app that can help identify people who have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus, helping to trace the relevant contacts and provide the necessary care. Find out more and download the app from the tracecovid.ae website.
4. Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre
Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre also have a WhatsApp number you can subscribe to for updates as and when they are released. The information is a mixture of news, updates, public health advisories with what to do and what not to do etc, as well as useful PDFs with frequently asked questions and more. I would say the bulk of the information comes through in Arabic, and I’ve just been using google translate to overcome this, but they are sending increasing numbers of PDFs and pamphlets in English and numerous other languages too. There is a lot of information from this channel that I have not seen published elsewhere so while you can’t pick and choose when to receive the information, I’ve found it is information worth having.
To subscribe to this service from ADPHC send ‘subscribe’ to +971 56 231 2171 on WhatsApp.
5. Emirates News Agency
WAM is the official news agency of the United Arab Emirates. If there’s something you’ve read elsewhere that has left you confused – refer to what’s published here to get the full story (and if it’s not on there yet, it’s because they are awaiting further details or clarifications before publishing).
6. UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority
The UAE NCEMA has set up their own website dedicated to Covid-19 updates which covers latest numbers, latest news, daily charts and a daily self assessment option for anyone who may be concerned about whether they may need to be tested for the virus: covid19.ncema.gov.ae/en
7. For parents: MoE, ADEK, KHDA
Ministry of Education:
Department of Education and Knowledge (Abu Dhabi):
Knowledge and Human Development Authority (Dubai):
Anyone with school age kids will likely already know of these already. These are the governmental education bodies where you’ll get the updates on any developments with dates for schools reopening and anything else related that concerns the schools. While the Ministry of Education is the overall authority on all things education in the UAE, bear in mind that ADEK and KHDA frequently have very different rules, so always refer to the relevant body for the emirate your school is in for the specific details.
8. World Health Organisation
All social channels: @who
As an addition, I thought it was important to add the World Health Organisation to this list. Although not directly related to the situation in the UAE, the WHO is a specialised agency of the United Nations with responsibility for international public health. You can find information on all of the latest public advice including best practices for health and safety (both personal and workplace) in relation to the Coronavirus pandemic, daily situation reports, country by country breakdowns and more.
The WHO has also launched a dedicated WhatsApp service for answering commonly asked questions regarding the pandemic and virus. I’ve found it to be a really useful service and it’s good because it’s a bot style service with a menu system so you can choose what information you choose to receive. They do not message you outside of this, only the information you specifically request to receive is sent.
To access the service send ‘hi’ to +41 79 893 18 92.
The service is also available in Arabic, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Hindi and Italian. To find the relevant number for each language click this link to the WHO press release on the subject.