Covid-19: Have Omicron-driven cases peaked in the UAE?

The number of Omicron-driven Covid cases increased around the third week of January



by

Waheed Abbas

Published: Mon 31 Jan 2022, 5:28 PM

Last updated: Mon 31 Jan 2022, 6:30 PM

The Omicron-driven Covid-19 wave has reached its peak in the UAE and the number of new cases is steadily decreasing in the country.

Dr Adel Al Sisi, chief medical officer, consultant and head of ICU at Prime Hospital, said Omicron is the fourth wave and the number of cases rises steadily until it reaches the peak and then it plateaus. Following that, the number of cases starts to decrease until they reach a very low level.

Al Sisi said this Omicron wave has also started to decline in the community and across the country as well.

“The good thing is that people are going for vaccinating themselves to protect and immunise themselves against the pandemic. Once you’re immunised by the vaccine, the immune system will be stronger even if you’re infected earlier. Even if people are tested positive but they have received the Covid jab, it doesn’t result in active serious disease and the severity will be less,” Al Sisi said.

The number of Omicron-driven Covid cases started increasing in the UAE from the second week of December 2021 and peaked around the third week of January.

Following that, the number of new cases started to decline, led by the aggressive testing regime by the authorities and an increasing number of residents taking booster shots to improve their immunity against the pandemic.

The UAE has ramped up Covid-19 tests because of new rules for entering federal and local govt departments and new entry rules for Abu Dhabi, which made it compulsory for people entering the capital to have booster shots. In addition, public schools and colleges also need routine PCR tests.

“Hopefully, this is the last wave and end of the pandemic and there is no more wave,” added Al Sisi.

Capital Economics said in a new study that the UAE leads the region in a successful Covid-19 booster drive and based on experiences of the other countries, it’s believed that the Omicron virus will quickly fade away in the UAE.

“The experience from other parts of the world is that these Omicron-driven virus waves will quickly fade, allowing restrictions to be loosened. This will provide a particular boost to those economies with large tourism sectors and higher levels of vaccination coverage, such as Dubai, Morocco, Oman and Bahrain,” it said.

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Compared to previous virus waves, deaths during Omicron have not increased significantly as vaccination programmes have helped to prevent severe illness, it added

Mohamed Saifeldin Abdelrahman Mohamed, pulmonologist, Thumbay University Hospital, said in the last few weeks, especially across UAE, the UAE has witnessed a peak in the number of cases around 2,500-3,000 infected individuals daily with Omicron.

“The numbers have not subsided but sustained for quite some time now. Besides the rising numbers, one needs to also observe that the hospitalisations and deaths are fewer compared to the peaks driven by other variants last year,” he said.


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