Let's not lower Covid guard for UAE National Day celebrations

NCEMA has advised all residents to be particularly careful and follow precautionary measures

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Published: Tue 23 Nov 2021, 10:52 PM

The way the UAE has managed the Covid-19 situation is now being hailed as a benchmark. In surveys and studies the world over, respondents have stated that the country’s handling has been exemplary and stellar.

There have been a few doubters — aren’t there always? — who claim that one reason why the UAE has been so successful in overriding a crisis this monumental is because it’s a small country (unlike, say, India) and, therefore, easy to monitor.

What they obviously don’t factor in is that there are many smaller countries that have failed to “monitor” the situation because they let things get out of control.

Right from the get go, there has been total and utter transparency. When the number of cases had peaked in the UAE, there was always clear communication by way of numbers and safety guidelines. The tone has been firm, yet reassuring. The media pitched in with effective — and positive — broadcasting, and fake news was meticulously dismantled, something many countries failed to do in an era when social media has a lot of damage potential.

In doing do, the leadership ensured that things didn’t stoke of panic: all stakeholders — the government, the healthcare sector, the PR machinery, the media and the residents — were on the same page. The most important thing is how the UAE did not rest on its laurels. It’s not just about how over 90 per cent of residents in the UAE now being fully vaccinated and how almost 100 per cent of them have received at least one dose. It’s about a constant compliance to protocols. In a country where its leaders are never seen in public without masks, it’s little wonder that residents follow suit.

Till date, the authorities don’t beat around the bush about the Covid situation, don’t dismiss the matter as having been “tided over”.

Dr Taher Al Amiri, official spokesperson of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA), has advised all residents to be particularly careful during the upcoming National Day weekend: wearing masks has to be complied with, social distancing has to be maintained, large gatherings should be avoided, physical forms of greetings (such as handshakes and hugs) should be refrained from, celebratory events should be restricted to only those who are vaccinated and so on.

When Dubai opened up for tourism, there were many — all over the world — who felt that it was a foolish step and that it would only be a matter of time before cases spiralled. Expo 2020 is under way and yet numbers have been steadily going down. What bigger endorsement can there be than that?

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