Dubai Government conducts comprehensive COVID-19 awareness campaign focused on labour camps

Photo: Dubai Media Office

Dubai Government is implementing a comprehensive awareness campaign on preventive measures against COVID-19 focused on blue collar workers in Dubai. The campaign is being carried out across several labour camps.

The campaign, launched on 22 March, is being conducted by teams from Dubai’s General Directorate of Civil Defense, Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs and Dubai Municipality in collaboration with the Command and Control Centre for Combating COVID-19. To date, the teams have visited labour accommodation facilities in Muhaisnah, Hatta, Dubai Investment Park, Dubai Industrial City, Al Quoz, Jebel Ali, Al Quoz 1, 2, 3 and 4 and the Expo 2020 site to conduct awareness campaigns.

The campaign, which has so far covered 1,822 labour housing units, seeks to raise awareness on preventive measures to be taken inside rooms, cooking areas and dining halls, and when leaving the housing units, as well as social distancing, regular temperature monitoring and sterilisation of buses. 

Abdullah Lashkari, General Coordinator of the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs in Dubai said: “Due to the massive construction projects and developments in Dubai, the city hosts a remarkable number of construction workers. Dubai Government is keen to provide the best living and working conditions for these labourers. The current situation requires us to work harder to help raise awareness among migrant labour about the pandemic as well as essential hygiene practices and preventive measures.”

Teams from the Committee visited 20 housing complexes for workers as part of the campaign, covering a total of more than 300 residences. In addition, the teams visited shops and clinics frequented by workers and buses used to transport them to work sites. Teams from Dubai’s General Directorate of Civil Defense and Dubai Municipality distributed posters on COVID-19 guidelines at these places.

The Committee’s campaign is focused on educating labour camp residents about the virus, its transmission and essential precautions for protecting themselves and the broader community. The campaign also aims to make blue-collar workers aware of the latest instructions of the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Dubai Health Authority. These instructions are provided in a simple form in their native languages.

Dr. Maryam Mahmoud bin Eisa, head of the awareness team at the Dubai Municipality Health and Safety Department, said the Municipality’s campaign is focused on supporting Dubai’s efforts to counter one of the most dangerous pandemics the world has ever seen. The campaign aims to complement the preventive measures and sterilisation drive being conducted by Dubai Municipality in the emirate. Cleaning and sterilising the camps is key to ensuring the safety of labourers during this critical phase, she added. The teams from Dubai Municipality have so far covered 1,122 labour housing units and educated workers on essential sterilisation procedures.

The Municipality recently issued a comprehensive guide on precautionary measures to be followed in labour camps, construction sites and buses transporting labourers. The guide includes instructions on obtaining movement permits.

Brig. Expert Ali Hassan Al Mutawa, Assistant Director General for Fire and Rescue, at the Dubai Civil Defense GHQ, said a survey conducted by Dubai Civil Defense showed that many labour accommodation facilities are not fully complying with public health requirements. Its campaign aims to address urgent issues and improve conditions that workers live in. He affirmed that the UAE is committed to providing a safe and healthy environment in labour camps in line with the international standards. He noted that Dubai Civil Defense teams visited over 400 labour residential units and conducted inspections to ensure employers’ compliance with international standards of health and safety.

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