Denmark suspends Dubai flights amid doubts more than virus exams

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – Denmark has briefly suspended all flights from the United Arab Emirates for five times right after suspicion arose that the coronavirus checks that can be acquired in advance of leaving Dubai are not trustworthy, authorities declared Friday.

The advancement poses a immediate challenge to the mass tests routine that experienced been the pillar of the UAE‘s coronavirus response and financial reopening.

Danish Transportation Minister Benny Engelbrecht claimed the conclusion was made to permit the matter to be totally investigated and guarantee that the tests are becoming carried out thoroughly

“We cannot dismiss these a suspicion,” Engelbrecht explained, including that the ban entered into pressure on Thursday night time.

Danish authorities faced a “concrete and significant citizen inquiry into” how the checks are carried out at Dubai entry and exit points, he mentioned, and “therefore we want to be absolutely absolutely sure that there are no complications.”

Engelbrecht reported at least “one citizen” brought the South African variant of the virus “back from Dubai.” He did not recognize even more that man or woman. Dubai has found an enhance in the number of South African citizens as the country’s financial system deteriorated in current several years.

Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet explained Friday there has been a second report of allegedly sloppy virus screening in Dubai, and cited Engelbrecht as expressing “the facts seem to be exact and legitimate.”

Considering that Jan. 9, Denmark has essential that all passengers arriving in the Scandinavian place have a damaging coronavirus exam or evidence that they have just lately had COVID-19, the disease brought about by the virus, to restrict the distribute of the virus.

The UAE’s Foreign Ministry did not straight away answer to an Related Push request for remark on the flight suspension and the suspicions bordering the virus screening.

On Jan. 8, Denmark’s International Ministry advised versus all journey abroad, such as enterprise travel. On Tuesday, Danish Primary Minister Mette Frederiksen explained to regional media that “there is a rationale why we truly check with everyone not to journey. It’s seriously essential that everyone listens.”

“There is a chance of bringing (virus) mutations to Denmark,” she stated. “It can undermine our epidemic control and thus infect other folks and what is even worse.”

In new times, quite a few Danish celebs, socialites and influencers – such as former boxer Mikkel Kessler, former football intercontinental Nicklas Bendtner and desk tennis ace Michael Maze – have traveled to Dubai and posted pics of themselves on social media.

Lea Hvidt Kessler, the wife of the previous tremendous-middleweight entire world champion, wrote on Instagram that no 1 in their relatives that traveled to Dubai in advance of Christmas was infected. In accordance to media in Denmark, there are at this time 85 Danish nationals there and about 800 lasting Danish citizens in Dubai.

Travellers have flocked to Dubai in latest weeks despite the UAE‘s surging coronavirus situation rely, escaping lockdowns back again property. The glimmering metropolis-state, with an economy mostly designed on tourism, aviation and retail, has promoted alone as an ideal pandemic holiday location. Apart from the ubiquitous masks and hand sanitizer dispensers, a perception of pre-pandemic normalcy prevails in the crowded bars, large malls and luxurious accommodations.

Skyrocketing daily bacterial infections, which nearly tripled considering the fact that November, for weeks did not dent the normalcy even as additional contagious variants of the coronavirus raced about the globe. The United Kingdom, which like Denmark sent droves of truth Television and sports activities stars to Dubai, shut its journey corridor with the UAE earlier this month.

This week, however, the town has shown signals of pressure. As the UAE shattered its coronavirus infection for the 11th consecutive day on Friday, with 3,552 new cases, Dubai announced an immediate halt to all “entertainment activities” on boats and floating restaurants – a preferred pastime in the city. Holidaymakers and superstars normally flaunt their vacations on social media, posting photos of raucous, Champagne-soaked yacht functions that have splashed across tabloids in latest weeks. A day before, Dubai suspended all are living bands and performances at nightclubs and bars in the town soon after hospitals were being pressured to pause non-urgent surgical procedures to deal with an influx of new COVID-19 people.

Considering the fact that the start of the pandemic, the UAE has developed its coronavirus response on an “early detection technique,” embarking on a single of the world’s very best coronavirus screening regimes at a time when other countries had been having difficulties to get and administer PCR exams. As of Friday, the place of roughly 9 million experienced conducted some 24.2 million coronavirus tests.

Dubai was just one of the world’s 1st locations to open up to holidaymakers, welcoming website visitors from any where with only a coronavirus examination. The place has used Chinese-produced coronavirus examination kits in its race to detect bacterial infections. The U.S. Point out Office earlier elevated considerations that Chinese screening substance was not precise, without offering evidence about the allegation.

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Related Press author Isabel DeBre in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.

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