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Rise in Covid-19 cases: UAE police, doctors issue advisory for residents

Ashwani Kumar /Dubai
ashwani@khaleejtimes.com Filed on January 22, 2021
Wam

All members of the society need to stick to preventive measures by 100 per cent because the coronavirus pandemic is still on.

The UAE’s experts and authorities — from the police to the doctors — are all calling on residents to keep their guards up and follow safety rules to the letter, amid the rise in Covid-19 cases.

Over the past three days, the country has seen the number of additional cases hit over 3,500 per day, with 3,552 new cases and 10 deaths reported on Friday. Recoveries, however, have been at record highs, with 3,945 added yesterday.

Lt-Gen Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of the Dubai Police, on Thursday pointed out that the rise in cases could be blamed on irresponsible gatherings and visits between friends and relatives, particularly during special occasions.

“All members of the society need to stick to preventive measures by 100 per cent because the coronavirus pandemic is still on,” he warned. “(Complying with safety rules) is the least we could do for the government that has given all the support to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Doctors agree that residents’ laxed behaviour is causing the spike in cases.

Dr Shilpa Murthy, general physician at Aster Clinic–Arabian Ranches, explained: “When the Covid-19 pandemic began early in 2020, people were actually keen on following all the precautions to protect themselves from the virus. Definitely, human behaviour plays a major factor in the latest surge in cases.

“Some follow Covid-19 precautions and others are not considering themselves part of this pandemic. No matter what season it is and which strain it is, as long as the basic steps of prevention — physical distancing, handwashing, wearing masks, and respiratory hygiene — are not maintained, continuous rise in numbers is not a surprise.”

Dr Rowena Eadie, family medicine specialist at Valiant Clinic and Hospital, Dubai, agree that there has been a “noticeable awareness” in the community because of the surge in cases, bothe locally and internationally.

“By now, most people personally know of someone — a friend or family member — who has had Covid, so it has become a reality. It is, therefore, vital that we continue to follow hygiene measures for the foreseeable future.”

As they dished out reminders on taking extra precautions, they also highlighted the importance of getting the jab, which is currently being administered for free across the country.

The national vaccination campaign is also in full swing, with 93,004 doses administered in the last 24 hours, taking the overall figure to over 2.3 million at a rate of 23.65 per 100 people.

Dr Abdul Aneez, assistant medical director at Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said: “The UAE is setting a new model through a massive vaccination drive. Getting vaccinated is our responsibility to keep ourselves and the community safe by developing herd immunity against the virus.”

Dr Aneez highlighted that vaccinated people must continue to follow precautionary measures. “Vaccination should not be construed as a reason to let guards down, thinking the virus is under control. The public should continue with their masks, hand washing, social distancing and other disinfection measures at all times, until we get a lasting, permanent solution.”

Dr Eadie explained that while the vaccine provides an additional layer of protection against Covid-19, “it will take a while until sufficient numbers of people have been vaccinated to provide herd immunity”.

“So, we need to continue taking precautions to keep ourselves and others safe. Avoiding large gatherings and unnecessary outings are key to decreasing the spread of Covid and getting the number of cases down again.”

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com

author

Ashwani Kumar

I am a newspaperman from the emirate of Abu Dhabi. A journalist at heart. I get my stories from the streets. A south Indian born in the Hindi heartland, I easily connect with people from different nationalities and cultures. I am calm like a monk, sensitive and very patient reporter. On the ground, I cover a range of topics related to community, health, embassy, tourism, transport, business and sports. I will go out on a leg to do what’s right and stand by what I believe in.





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