End of Covid-19 in sight: UAE ranked among top 10 countries worldwide for response to pandemic

Last week, the number of global cases fell to the lowest level since March 2020, following a 12 per cent drop a week earlier



Published: Thu 15 Sep 2022, 3:51 PM

Last updated: Thu 15 Sep 2022, 10:38 PM

With the World Health Organization (WHO) announcing that the end of the Covid-19 pandemic is in sight, doctors in the UAE are hailing the country’s response to the unprecedented times.

According to the Global Response to Infectious Diseases Index, the UAE ranks among the top 10 countries worldwide for its proactive approach during the Covid-19 pandemic. Dr. Rakesh Gupta, Deputy Medical Director and Specialist Pulmonologist at Lifecare Hospital Mussafah, credits the country’s leadership for this.

Dr Rakesh Gupta
Dr Rakesh Gupta

“The UAE’s crisis management team, efficient governance and most importantly the integrated utilisation of public-private partnerships, has helped bring down the Covid-19 cases,” he said.

On Wednesday, with the number of newly reported Covid-19 cases dropping dramatically, WHO urged the world to seize the opportunity to end the pandemic. Last week, the number of cases fell to the lowest level since March 2020, said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. The falling numbers have also been reflected in the UAE with the country posting less than 500 cases a day for several days now.

Dr. Haider Ali, Consultant Family Medicine at Medcare Medical Centre, lists out the measures that helped the UAE deal with the pandemic. “Availability of mass testing, contact tracing via MoHaP, strict measures of mask wearing, which continues, closing down the borders, and setting up field hospitals are all some of the factors that helped the UAE in bringing down its number of covid cases,” he said.

Dr. Haider Ali
Dr. Haider Ali

“The UAE’s efforts in safeguarding our population were evident in how we reached 5th worldwide and 1st in the Arab world in terms of testing which has no doubt had a significant role in bringing numbers down.

WHO chief Tedros Ghebreyesus told reporters that the world has never been in a better position to end the pandemic. "We are not there yet, but the end is in sight,” he said. "If we don't take this opportunity now, we run the risk of more variants, more deaths, more disruption, and more uncertainty."

According to experts, the UAE’s timely vaccination drive contributed significantly in helping the country deal with the pandemic. “The UAE was one of the first countries that started vaccinating its populations at a time when several other countries were just thinking about it,” said Dr. Babu Rafeeq, Specialist Paediatrician and Medical Director of HealthHub Clinic Al Qusais.

Dr. Babu Rafeeq
Dr. Babu Rafeeq

“The government made several world class vaccines available for free for residents of all nationalities. Also, setting up proper storage and distribution of vaccines as well as plenty of vaccination centres with state-of-the-art medical facilities made it really easy for people to get vaccinated.”

According to WHO's latest epidemiological report on Covid-19, the number of reported cases fell by 28 per cent to 3.1 million during the week ending September 11, following a 12-percent-drop a week earlier. But the agency has warned that the falling number of reported cases is deceptive, since many countries have cut back on testing and may not be detecting the less serious cases.

Dr. Rakesh Gupta cautioned residents not to get complacent just because the number of cases has gone down. “Everyone should get vaccinated with a booster as per recommendations,” he said. “People should also follow Covid-appropriate behavior, including wearing masks in public places, following social distancing, and hand sanitisation.”

Since being recognised in 2019, the WHO has estimated more than 605 million cases of Covid-19, with over 6.4 million people dying. However, both numbers are believed to be under-reported and a study in late May revealed that as many as 17 million people may have died due to the pandemic.

Dr. Haidar Ali commended the UAE for continuing to enforce Covid-19 protocols. “Unlike other countries worldwide, we in the country have maintained relatively strict measures, particularly in areas such as schools and government buildings,” he said.

The UAE leadership has recognised that Covid is, frustratingly, here to stay for the foreseeable future, and has ensured that the availability for testing remains in place for any potential spike in cases."

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