Lockdown But Not Video Call WhatsApp, Residents in Arab countries inflamed

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To reduce the rate of transmission of the corona virus, several countries impose lockdown policies including Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates. But some residents are inflamed because blocking video calls on popular applications remains unopened.

In the UAE, applications that use Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) are limited to some degree, possibly related to national security reasons. That also happened in Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Operators Etisalat and Du in the UAE have indeed provided the use of Microsoft Teams, Blackbaord, to Zoom. But many citizens who want video calls in popular applications such as WhatsApp also opened.

“Please listen to us. Unblock Skype, WhatsApp, FaceTime, although only temporarily. Because 80% of residents are at home,” Twitter user @danielmarcevans wrote.

“If it’s not the time to spread the virus, we’re allowed to communicate with family, then when?” asked another netizen.

Quoted from Reuters, in addition to confusing residents, the blocking also limited expatriates who were there a lot. Indeed many foreigners work in the UAE in the field of business or tourism.

In Oman, Zoom, GoogleMeet or Skype for Business have been opened, but WhatsApp is still closed. Whereas in Qatar, WhatsApp and Skype remain limited.

“Please, unblock the VoIP application, it’s really hard to work and teach remotely if we have to use VPN,” said a university employee named Shaima Sherif.