Coronavirus Pandemic

UAE combats Covid: Stay safe, stay strong, sustain war on coronavirus

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on September 24, 2020 | Last updated on September 24, 2020 at 07.33 am
uae, covid, precautionary measures, covid rules

(KT file)

The UAE on Wednesday witnessed an alarming rise in Covid-19 infections.

Are we losing this battle against Covid-19? Is this a second wave? These are some of the questions popping up in everyone's minds across the globe as they hope and pray for the pandemic to end but the surge in Covid cases once again doesn't seem to slow down.

The UAE on Wednesday witnessed an alarming rise in Covid-19 infections that touched a new high of 1,083, the highest single-day increase recorded in the country.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention also announced 970 recoveries and a death due to complications caused by the virus. The UAE had recorded its previous single-day high on September 12, when it saw 1,007 Covid-19 infections.

The UAE has left no stone unturned when it comes to taking robust safety measures to keep people safe, which include comprehensive testing, temperature screenings at public places, multi-language awareness programmes and countrywide sterilisation drives but are we doing our bit by being highly vigilant?

"While the government is helping us by not imposing a lockdown and urging us to be cautious, it is now up to us to not take undue advantage of this freedom and behave responsibly," said Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director at RAK Hospital. The UAE adopted rational and advanced precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus while the most developed economies and healthcare systems such as the US and Europe collapsed, he said.

"What has been noted in the last couple of weeks is that people have not respected safety guidelines such as maintaining social distance and hygiene standards and have flouted rules by organising and participating in social gatherings and that is catastrophic. It is all about behaving responsibly. Even a slight lapse in following these guidelines will expose a large number of people to this deadly virus. We have come this far and done pretty well because we obeyed the safety guidelines laid down by the UAE government."

All we require now is to stay strong and just give a few more months to this discipline and I am hopeful that we will make it through this pandemic," Dr Siddiqui said.

Dr Dirar Abdullah, consultant and head of ICU at Prime Hospital, advised: "Creating awareness about the importance of taking precautions is of paramount importance and people need to abide by the rules of social distancing and behave responsibly. They need to stay alert and avoid any crowded areas.

"We will definitely be more comfortable once we have a vaccine, but the vaccine still cannot stop the spread of the disease from one person to another, therefore it is you and me who have to exercise caution and stop the spread. We need to teach our kids to take precautions and protect the elderly until the vaccine comes out," he added.

In July and August, the country had marked a drop in the number of cases by 21 per cent. It also saw its Covid mortality rate go down by 5.7 per cent.

"August saw more than two million lab tests nationwide (2,018,274) - the eighth highest in the world. There was an increase of 36 per cent in comparison to the tests conducted in July, when over 1.4 million tests were done," said Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official UAE government spokesperson, on Tuesday.

The official also reiterated the government's call to avoid gatherings. "These figures are the result of residents' awareness. We call on all members of society to play a fundamental role in continuing this development."

Earlier, Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE health sector, had said that there has been a five-fold increase in the number of Covid-19 cases since August 10.

According to authorities, the country witnessed a surge in Covid-19 cases in recent days mainly because of non-compliance to precautionary measures outlined by the country. Wearing masks, physical distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene top the list of anti-Covid measures.

At 0.5 per cent, the country has one of the lowest death rates in the world. It also has among the highest recovery rates in the world at 90 per cent.

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