With long public holidays, medical experts have urged community members to follow Covid-19 safety measures to avoid an uptick in the number of new cases after the festive celebrations.
On Saturday, the health authorities announced 261 positive cases and 97.69 per cent of the eligible population being fully vaccinated.
A consistent decline in caseloads has led to further relaxation of Covid-19 protocols. However, doctors noted that people must be cautious during celebrations.
“This year, Eid celebrations will be happening from a backdrop of high vaccination rates, low cases and relaxed restrictions. A sense of normality is returning but we should remain cautious while still embracing the joy this celebration brings to us and our families,” said Dr Amaka Kate Uzu, consultant, family medicine, Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi.
Doctors stressed on wearing masks, generous use of hand sanitisers, maintaining social distancing, especially from the vulnerable category, and avoiding crowded places and large gatherings.
“We must ensure that all family members are fully vaccinated, and wear masks while visiting friends or relatives in closed places. Vulnerable population must keep away from any possible threats,” said Dr Nasrullah Jakhrani, specialist, internal medicine, Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai (AJMC).
“Even during prayers, people must maintain social distance and put on masks all the time. It is ideal to avoid handshakes. Adhere to preventive measures will not only protect you and others from getting infected but will protect against other viral infections like flu and common cold,” Dr Jakhrani noted.
Dr Jaya Geetha, specialist, internal medicine, NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, recommended keeping a spare mask always.
“Try to limit celebrations to immediate family members and catch up with your loved ones over a video call, if possible,” Dr Geetha said.
With many residents travelling abroad for vacation, Dr Uzu said: “If travelling abroad, wear a mask on the flight, be aware of the vaccination adoption rate of the country you are visiting and obey their Covid-19 protocols.”
With the World Health Organisation (WHO) noting an unusually high number of cases of extensively drug-resistant (XDR) Shigella sonnei in European countries, Dr Geetha underlined: “Extra care must be taken by those flying abroad during holidays. Ensure availability of safe drinking water and food. Shigella bacteria can be passed in infected food or by drinking or swimming in unsafe water. Most common symptoms of Shigella infection are watery or bloody diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, fever, nausea, loss of appetite and headache. General hygiene measures including hand washing with soap and water is the most important step to reduce transmission.”
Dr Uzu added that any person showing Covid-19 related symptoms must not go outdoors and be part of any festivities.
“Let’s remind ourselves of the practices that helped keep us safe at the peak of the pandemic. Wash your hands and use sanitisers as often as needed. Other viruses and bacteria are making a comeback so hygiene will be key to keeping them at bay. If we maintain these practices, we can all have an enjoyable and safe Eid celebration.
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