These are challenging times for us all. And we think that the best way to meet this challenge is together.
We’re committed to being a responsible corporate member of the communities we serve. And so we’re doing what we can to help keep you informed and to help keep you safe.
We have a lot of information to share with you, but here’s a quick overview of what you need to know:
The facts on COVID-19
COVID-19 news from the UAE and around the world
Ten tips on keeping your car safe
Helpful maintenance advice to help keep you moving
We’ll be adding to this page as more information becomes available, so please do check back regularly.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
COVID-19 is an infectious disease that was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. It takes its name from the type of virus that causes it, along with the year it was identified: COronaVIrus Disease 19.
WHAT IS A CORONAVIRUS?
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals and humans. Some coronaviruses cause respiratory infections in humans, including the common cold, MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). COVID-19 is the most recently discovered virus of this type.
HOW DOES COVID-19 SPREAD?
COVID-19 is spread through small droplets expelled from the mouth or nose of an infected person. Other people may then pick up the virus from contaminated surfaces, transferring them from their hands to their eyes, nose or mouth, or by breathing in the droplets when someone coughs or exhales near them.
CAN SOMEONE WITH NO SYMPTOMS SPREAD COVID-19?
The main route to infection appears to be the spread of infected respiratory droplets expelled by coughing. As someone with no symptoms is unlikely to cough, the risk of them transferring the virus is low. However, a person with only mild symptoms of the disease, such as a minor cough, is capable of spreading the disease, even though they may not feel ill.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MYSELF FROM COVID-19
The key to protecting yourself and your family from the spread of COVID-19 is to remain aware of the current government advice and regulations, and to follow them closely.
Practice good hand hygiene – that means washing your hands regularly and thoroughly, using soap and hot water and taking at least 20 seconds (or about the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice) each time you wash.
Practice Social Distancing – avoid any contact with people you don’t share your home with, and keep at least two metres’ distance from anyone when you are outside of the home.
WHAT IF I BEGIN TO FEEL UNWELL?
If you develop a fever, a dry, persistent cough, or find yourself struggling to catch your breath, stay at home and contact your healthcare provider immediately.
While official advice is to stay at home as much as possible, leaving the house for essential supplies – or if you’re a key worker – is sometimes unavoidable.
Your vehicle’s interior is relatively small, tightly contained, and full of hard surfaces – the ideal environment for harbouring germs. Scientists are not yet certain how long the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 can survive outside the human body, but studies of similar coronavirus (including Sars and Mers) found that they can survive on metal, glass and plastic for up to nine days.
So if you’re planning on taking the car, then it makes sense to ensure that your journey is as safe as possible.
WASH YOUR HANDS
As always, the number one piece of advice is to cleanse your hands frequently. Experts advise using hand sanitiser (of at least 60% alcohol concentration) as soon as you get into the car, to help avoid contaminating it with any germs you might be carrying.
LEAVE THE FILL-UPS TO US
International studies have shown that the average petrol pump handle is more than 6,000 times dirtier than a public elevator button – and carries an astonishing 11,835 times more germs than a public toilet seat.
Fortunately, the answer to this one is easy – have one of our dedicated pilots come to you, delivering completely contactless refuelling at your home or workplace. Your pilot will wear gloves and a mask throughout the fill-up, and the fuel pump is carefully wiped and sanitised between fill-ups to avoid spillages.
TRAVEL FROM A TO B
Only travel if your journey is essential, and even then, limit the number of stops you make – avoid unnecessary detours and remember that the more places you visit, the higher your chance of coming into contact with an infected person or surface.
CLEAN YOUR CAR
We mean really clean your car, using antibiotic sterilising wipes. Disinfect high-touch hard surfaces every time you use the car – that means the steering wheel, gear shift knob, instrument stalks, seatbelt, stereo controls, cup holders, door pockets, and any other areas you might touch. Don’t forget the dashboard, paying particular attention to areas around air-conditioning outlets.
CLEAN YOUR KEYS
It’s easy to overlook, but your car keys are among the most often touched personal items. Give them a good wipe down with a sanitising wipe before and after every trip.
Government regulations on how many passengers can be carried must be followed, and in general it is safer to travel alone. If, however, you must carry a passenger (for instance, if taking a family member to or from a medical appointment), ask them to take the same precautions that you are, by sanitising their hands as soon as they get in the car, and to avoid unnecessarily touching interior surfaces.
CHANGE YOUR AIR FILTERS
Your car’s AC system is fitted with air filters to minimise the intake of germs. Make sure that they’re doing their job by changing them as advised by your car’s manufacturer, and by regularly using a spray disinfectant on the AC intake vents.
VENTILATE BETWEEN TRIPS
It’s believed that the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can linger in the air for up to three hours. Leaving your car’s windows open a crack between journeys, to allow fresh air to circulate through the cabin, may reduce the risk of contamination.
TAKE CARE WITH CARGO
Any items that you carry in your car’s interior run the risk of introducing germs. So avoid carrying groceries and other cargo in the back seat, and instead place it in the boot. When you get your shopping home, wipe down external packaging before putting your purchases away. And then wash your hands when finished.
WAIT IT OUT
Try to remember that your favourite journeys – trips to the beach, the desert, or the mountains – will still be there when all this is over. So spend this time planning a weekend away, a desert safari, or just a drive out for the sheer joy of it.
In the meantime, remember: Stay home. Stay safe. Stay together.
IN THE UAE
The UAE government’s response to the current crisis has been exemplary, and continue to reduce the impact of the virus on the the country’s population.
A key aspect of the government response has been to keep residents informed of the developing situation, and to provide clear guidance on what can be done to ensure that the virus is contained and, ultimately, defeated.
You can find the latest news and advice on what the UAE is doing to tackle COVID-19 via the following official channels:
As different countries around the world are at different stages in the fight against the coronavirus, it can be useful to follow the international news media to stay abreast of the latest developments. However, you should pick your news sources carefully, distrust rumours and uncorroborated stories on social media, and take care not to spread false reporting or “fake” news.
These are some trusted news sources that you may choose to help yourself stay informed.
Keep your car’s fluid reservoirs filled to the correct levels – even when it’s not in use, high temperatures can cause evaporation.
Ensure that your screen wash tank is topped up with freshwater and a suitable screenwash or detergent.
Check your oil, coolant and brake fluid levels are within the recommended ranges before using your car after it’s been off the road for while.
Stay safe – book a contactless fuel fill-up with us!
Unsure about any of the above? Then your owner’s manual or manufacturer’s website is often the best place to start.
MEET THE CAFU HEROES
Meet some of the CAFU pilots who are out on the streets, helping to keep the UAE moving. First up, Farhan.
"People used to come out of their houses to see us, because they liked seeing the truck, but they don’t any more. This is better, as people can stay safe in their homes. They just need to make sure that the fuel cap is open and we will do everything for them.
My wife is here in Dubai, studying fashion design. I support her, and was proud to win CAFU pilot of the month." - Farhan
Cafu Community Champions
From the doctors, nurses and medics who are at the frontline of the fight, to the essential workers who keep our cupboard stocked and disinfect our streets each night – each is helping us to win the war against the coronavirus.
In some small way, we’d like to recognise the work that these Community Champions are doing. But we need your help.
Tell us about someone you know who’s helping your community face up to the challenge of coronavirus. We’ll feature some of your stories here on our website, and if yours is chosen, we’ll reward both you and your nominated Community Champion with a free tank of fuel.
Share your story
Meet the champions
Heather Harris, founder of the ‘Stop and Help’ initiative
Heather Harries, her husband and two sons started the 'Stop and Help' initiative to lift "community spirits" during the COVID-19 pandemic with the support of the PTA at the Dubai British School. Today, with more involvement from the community, around 50 volunteers are working around the clock to provide essential supplies to well over 2000 families across the UAE.
Ayesha Sohail, founder of the ‘UAE Fusion Socialites’ social group
Ayesha Sohail, a Pakistani mother in Sharjah, is using her social media skills to help low-income families. She operates a Facebook page, called ‘UAE Fusion Socialites’, and is encouraging some of her 19,800 group members to donate groceries. Ayesha and her husband Sohail handle the deliveries. They pick up and drop off the groceries and baby essentials outside of the homes of families in need.
STAY IN TOUCH
If you’d like to keep up to date with news and advice from CAFU during the crisis period, please sign up for our newsletter and COVID-19 updates below.