Opinion and Editorial

UAE Covid-19: No time to let your guard down on the pandemic

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on February 7, 2021
Photo: Ryan Lim/KT

In the UAE, authorities are leaving no stone unturned to contain the spread of Covid-19, following a spike in the number of cases in recent weeks.

There is no such things as being “a little too careful” during a pandemic. If anything, a vigilant eye will save you and others from contracting a virus that has claimed thousands of lives around the world. While newer studies throw light on the nature of Covid-19 and its emerging variants, there are some very basic rules that can ensure safety — social distancing measures, sanitisation and wearing masks. But where there are believers, there are also cynics — in this case, those who make a virtue out of not wearing masks and following social distancing protocols. And sometimes, it just takes an individual’s reluctance for a bigger damage to be wreaked.

In the UAE, authorities are leaving no stone unturned to contain the spread of Covid-19, following a spike in the number of cases in recent weeks. Recently, Abu Dhabi issued fresh restrictions, according to which the operating capacity of hotels, restaurants, gyms, beaches, taxis and buses have been limited, while cinemas have been shut completely. Not more than 10 people are allowed to attend formal dos, such as weddings. On the other hand, the Ministry of Health and Prevention has announced that in the wake of rising number of cases, it will seek to vaccinate the elderly and those with chronic conditions in the next four to six weeks. This effort is aimed at ensuring safety of more vulnerable groups, as the rest can take appointments for vaccination.

These are crucial steps towards ensuring containment of the virus. But even as authorities are being proactive in taking measures, it is important for individuals to own up to their responsibilities. An increasing number of public gatherings and a reluctance in wearing masks are two of the oft-quoted reasons for the spike. This, when it has been proven that the newer variants of the virus are more contagious. Such callousness is not only life-threatening, it is unacceptable at a time when the end of the pandemic seems near with coronavirus vaccines available in the market.

Many are also citing ‘precaution-fatigue’ as a reason to be out and about. As many justify their increasing footprint at social gatherings, it is important to remember that one person’s ‘precaution fatigue’ can be fatal to other’s safety. It only takes a minute of letting your guard down for the virus to rear its ugly head. For much of 2020, we fought an invisible enemy, hoping for an antidote. That antidote is here, but it’s still not the time to reclaim the old normal. We cannot give the virus a chance to thrive.

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