Based on the directions of the prudent leadership and under the sponsorship of His Highness Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, the Human Resources Department in Ras Al Khaimah has launched a Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing initiative for government sector employees in the emirate. The initiative will result in around 3,000 government employees being screened for the coronavirus at the emirate level.
Forming part of the efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus, the initiative aligns with plan to phase government employees’ return to work, which will see around 50% of workers going back to their workplaces initially.
“Criteria have been established for each government entity to ensure the readiness of the work environment to welcome returnees, including full implementation of protective measures and ensuring that employees understand the continued need for precautions. The number of awareness programs and campaigns related to safety and the prevention of virus transmission are being increased accordingly as part of the program,” said His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Abdul Latif Khalifa, Director General of the Human Resources Department in Ras Al Khaimah.
“The initiative includes the planning, organizing, coordinating and general supervision of all the test requirements in conjunction with the various authorities and in coordination with the medical staff from Ras Al Khaimah Hospital who will be overseeing the program. Internal work teams in each of the entities responsible for taking the necessary measures in the work environment and ensuring the implementation of security and safety during the testing procedures have been identified,” said Noura Al Shehhi, Director General of Institutional Affairs at the department and the supervisor of the initiative.
Specific categories of government employees are excluded from the return to work plan and are being allowed to continue to work remotely until further notice. These include those who are pregnant and those suffering chronic diseases, as per approved medical records. They also include people of determination, female employees who care for their children from ninth grade and below (until the end of the current school year), female employees who have children in foster care or who are being cared for at home and whose health condition requires permanent care in light of the emergency conditions (based on reports from health authorities approved by the United Arab Emirates).
The return to work plan will see the application of a flexible working system with regards to attendance and departure to and from workplaces. This involves the employees being divided into two or three groups, according to the size of the workforce, with a difference of half an hour between each group starting and finishing work to minimise crowding during entry and departure.