In encouraging signs of recovery from the pandemic, the UAE’s lowest number of new Covid-19 cases for 2021 has been recorded in July.
The month has ended with just over 47,900 cases — with an average of 1,540 daily cases — dipping further from the previous low of 50,500 registered in May.
Significantly, the UAE managed to achieve the milestone even after it announced the detection of the contagious Delta variant in June, when more than 62,000 cases (average of 2,060 daily cases) were detected.
Doctors said the availability of multiple Covid-19 vaccines and the anti-viral medicine Sotrovimab, robust PCR screenings, the national sterilisation drive, travel restrictions and greater public awareness were behind the dip in caseloads.
Dr Ravi Arora, internal medicine specialist at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, said the July data supported the fact that the spread of the virus could be contained through public health measures.
“The declining trend once again proves the efficacy of social distancing and recent measures like capacity curbs in public places and the disinfection drive. The dual-pronged public health measures, including awareness drives and mass vaccination campaigns, are time-tested and benchmarked strategies to control the pandemic.”
So far, 70.5 per cent of the UAE population has been fully vaccinated. Until Saturday, a total of 16.79 million doses have been administered at a distribution rate of 169.82 doses per 100 people, which is among the best in the world.
Dr Khalid Alkubaisy, internal medicine specialist at Medeor Hospital, Abu Dhabi, underlined that with a vigorous vaccination drive, the UAE is making rapid progress in returning to normalcy.
“The lowest number of cases in July is testimony to the success of the vaccination drive. Now, with emergency use approval for the Moderna vaccine earlier in July, we have five options, with Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, AstraZeneca and Sputnik V. These are the most widely accepted vaccines for cross-border travel. The UAE is also among the leaders globally in terms of vaccination rate.”
Dr Khalid underlined that making the Covid-19 medicine Sotrovimab accessible to UAE patients has been a shot in the arm.
“The UAE leadership hasn’t left any stone unturned in this fight. This sort of comprehensive approach in response to Covid is quickening the post-pandemic recovery process.”
On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced 1,537 new cases after conducting 300,637 PCR tests.
Dubai-based Dr Sulaiman Ahmed underlined that the UAE’s relentless efforts in conducting the tests is another key factor that helped bring case numbers down.
“Massive testing has been a vital part of early detection of the virus and has helped achieve unparalleled success in this fight against the pandemic. The health authorities have been conducting screenings in densely populated areas like labour accommodations, where the chances of spreading Covid infection remains high,” said Dr Ahmed, a general practitioner at Access Clinic, Al Quoz.
“We saw Abu Dhabi launch an intense testing campaign in the industrial areas. Such measures are one of the key reasons resulting in lowering of the cases from the highs of June to lowest in July.”
Dr Sarla Kumari, internal medicine specialist at Canadian Specialist Hospital, Dubai, pointed out that people have also become more alert and aware in the wake of the Delta variant.
“The public is getting more aware about the new variant, which is very nasty, and can be fatal. Residents are also carefully following precautionary measures set by the UAE, like mandatory wearing of masks, safe distance and hand washing. There is reduced Covid vaccine hesitancy as the government and companies are encouraging vaccination. Also, there is a travel ban on countries with the highest number of Delta variant infections. All these factors combined help control the infection spread in the UAE.”
Dr Arora offered the ‘4Ws’ theory to keep the new cases low, which in turn will allow healthcare workers to optimally handle the patient load. “It is imperative to reiterate the importance of traditional three Ws of Covid-19 care and now we can add the fourth: Wash your hands, watch the distance, wear the mask and will to get vaccinated.”
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