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UAE: Covid cases in 'slow, steady' decline, thanks to mass vaccination drive

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on March 2, 2021 | Last updated on March 19, 2021 at 12.51 pm
KT file photo by Shihab

Coronavirus infections in the UAE have fallen by 22%, which is more than a fifth from a late January peak.

The UAE is seeing a gradual decline in the number of Covid-19 infections in the past few weeks, thanks to stricter measures implemented by the government and the mass vaccination drive across the country.

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The Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 2,721 new Covid cases, a figure that is nearly 400 lower than the 3,102 cases reported a week ago. Coronavirus infections in the UAE have fallen by 22 per cent, which is more than a fifth from a late January peak.

According to BloombergQuint, the UAE has one of the world’s fastest Covid vaccination campaigns, having administered 56 doses per 100 people. So far, the nation has given more than six million doses of the vaccine and has inoculated over 3.6 million residents, said Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector.

Speaking at the weekly Covid briefing, Dr Al Hosani said 61.41 per cent of the elderly population of the country have also been vaccinated.

Mass testing, vaccination, and immediately placing close contacts in quarantine have helped the country keep its infection rate among the lowest in the region and globally. As on March 2, the UAE has conducted over 31 million Covid-19 PCR tests, making it one of top countries that have conducted the most tests in proportion to its population, Dr Al Hosani said.

Urging the public to stay vigilant and pay attention to any respiratory symptoms, the official said: “There are some people who neglect respiratory symptoms and consider them normal. Hence, they do not go for examination or diagnosis until their health deteriorates and they develop acute respiratory symptoms, such as shortness of breath. If the elderly or people with chronic diseases experience any cold, flu, fever or cough-related symptoms, they must consult their doctor.”

Dr Al Hosani stressed that early treatment of infections can help speed up recovery and reduce chances of complications.

She added: “International studies have shown that the proportion of the risk of complications, hospitalisations and deaths are doubled among people over the age of 60 and those with chronic diseases. In order protect the elderly, we must take some precautionary measures such as reducing their direct interaction with many people, limiting the duration of the visit of those meeting them, making it mandatory for those visitng them to have a PCR test done aming others such as wearing mask, keeping a distance of two metres from them and maintaining hand hygiene.”

She reassured during the briefing that the Covid-19 vaccines introduced by the UAE is safe for all, especially the elderly. “In the event that any symptoms of the respiratory system appear, you must immediately call 999 or go to the nearest health centre.”

Answering another commonly asked question about a quarantined person stepping out in case of health emergency, Dr Farida said: “Quarantined individuals can go out in the event of any health emergency, without the need to inform anyone. Just go to the nearest hospital and show your medical report as evidence if you face a penalty.

Update your alhosn app

The UAE’s Al Hosn app keeps track of residents’ Covid records, from tests to vaccinations. This is why residents are urged to download the app.

“If the data on your Al Hosn app hasn’t been updated even 28 days after taking the second vaccination dose or seven days after taking a PCR test, then one should first try and update their Al Hosn application,” said Dr Farida Al Hosani.

“In case an ‘E’ sign does not show up on the app, then they must contact the Al Hosn application hotline number 8004676 or call 800937293 to receive technical support.”

saman@khaleejtimes.com





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