Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: The worst has passed thanks to UAE’s wise leadership

Filed on August 29, 2021

Stay out of the virus’s path and build health infra to take on cases that might emerge, was the plan, and it worked.

During the worst of the pandemic last year, the UAE’s performance as a team pulled it out of a crisis. The leadership, the community and industry worked in tandem during those months of despair and uncertainty. Those were dark days. People were asked to stay indoors and wear masks as the novel coronavirus spread rapidly across the world. Businesses suffered, lives were lost, livelihoods were hit, families were separated, there was fear and anxiety. But the UAE leadership never wavered from its commitment to get things done on the health front as the virus threatened all that its people had built. Stay out of the virus’s path and build health infra to take on cases that might emerge, was the plan, and it worked.

It took calm minds, courage and sound strategy to launch a counterattack against the pathogen that had caught humanity unawares after it emerged from Wuhan in China. What differentiated the UAE’s virus response from the rest of the world? In one word. Leadership.

Without wise and composed leadership, there cannot be teamwork towards the common goal of containing, mitigating, preventing infections and deaths. And good leaders give credit to the team that worked tirelessly during the worst of the crisis. “The UAE worked as one team during the pandemic, and as a result, the country’s response to the crisis has been one of the best in the world,’’ said His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Indeed, the worst is over. This does not mean residents should be complacent. What must be borne in mind is that people will have to live with the virus in the immediate future. The virus is still lurking and will mutate if vaccine inequity is not curbed. The pathogen could change its spikes and cause more harm with variants if vaccinations do not reach the poorest populations on time.

For its part, the UAE is sending jabs to countries in the developing world. The virus has all the time in the world while humans are running out of time unless they are vaccinated. But, with multiple vaccines already being deployed and more in the pipeline, the arsenal is growing in the global fight against an unseen foe. Domestically, the UAE is well placed in the vaccination campaign with close to 80 per cent of the population getting both jabs. This would mean a situation that is close to normal. The pandemic may be entering an endemic stage where it is less deadly and can be managed like the flu. It took teamwork and strong leadership to get here.

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