Coronavirus Pandemic

#WeAreResponsible: Coronavirus still here, warns doctor Filed on September 11, 2020

(AFP file)

'Everyone must continue to take all precautions be it at home or in the workplace,' the doctor said.

With a spike in the daily tally of new Covid-19 cases, the call for everyone to follow every precaution has grown louder: Keep your mask on, wash your hands, and do not stand too close to others. In the past two weeks, over a dozen residents have shown us how they made safety a habit. They gave up meet-ups with friends and enforced new rules at home. They changed their work routines, and some even went the extra mile to help others. They have vowed to remain committed to fighting Covid-19. And if they can do it - so can you.

The Covid-19 pandemic is still around - and everyone must keep this mind, said an Emirati doctor who has had to endure several sleepless nights to make sure that hospitals have the supplies they need to fight the virus.

Dr Anwar Salam, chief medical officer at Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), said residents must not drop their guard.

#WeAreResponsible: Coronavirus still here, warns doctor (KT25806911.PNG)

"I am telling everyone every day to continue observing precautionary measures including wearing face masks, practising physical distancing and frequently cleaing their hands to help fight Covid-19," he said, adding that he also gives out this regular reminder to his family and relatives.

Many residents have been following the safety rules, wearing face masks wherever they go, he noted. However, most of the new Covid-19 cases could be traced to the things that some irresponsibleindividuals and families do - such as backdoor social gatherings, thus leading to a spread of the virus, Dr Salam said.

These practices should be stopped, and everyone must continue to take all precautions be it at home or in the workplace, the doctor said.

His work

Dr Salam has been working tirelessly to coordinate efforts and prevent any shortage in medical supplies. He also helped set up Covid-19 testing facilities across the country.

"My job has always been coordinating hundreds of people on my team to ensure there are enough protective kits, medical equipment and other supplies in all hospitals, all the time. We have also been coordinating with different embassies regarding various health issues to ensure that everyone is safe," he said.

While frontline health workers have done a commendable job in treating patients, there are thousands of other medics and professionals who had gone over and above the call of duty to support the Covid-19 fight.

"I am glad that I have been part of the medical teams fighting the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring that everyone is safe. The struggle continues until we overcome this killer," Dr Salam said.

#WeAreResponsible: Coronavirus still here, warns doctor (KT25807911.PNG)

Being the only physician in the family, he has always been the reference person. He makes it a point to reiterate to his family members and relatives that the coronavirus disease is a major killer - and it can be prevented only through strict adherence to precautionary measures and following health guidelines.

Pushing the message

The biter bit. I was not in favour of 14 days of this column. And it was predicated to falling Covid case numbers, a sense of control over the blight and a cheerful disposition across the public board. Schools were opening, there was cheer and a skip in the step. Why bore folks with cautions? I said blithely; things are looking good and we are overdoing it. There was a kind of sullen silence in those who felt we could not get enough of warnings and the message needed to be dinned in. Also, there were enough angles to cover 14 days.

As we bid this column goodbye, guess who has converted so fully to this thought process. Everyone looked up in surprise when I said, let's get another series started on 'What have I done wrong' or something on those lines. I cannot get enough of it.

Perhaps that excitement at the falling figures was the cause of lowering our guard because it was not even conceivable that the daily cases would rise to these heights so suddenly. In that, we also need to keep pushing the message. In three parts. One, the virus hasn't gone anywhere, it is still thriving. Two, we have upped taking chances and shortcuts and gone deep into self-deception. Three, people die and are maimed and left crippled mentally and physically, thereby putting the lie to those who advocate that it is a bad cold.

You wish. Ask those who have lost loved ones, you might get a different answer. It is not the 14 days, it is how relevant the data is. - By Bikram Vohra


Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.

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