While the dramatic rise in the number of Covid-19 cases is worrying Abu Dhabi residents, there is a sense of relief and reassurance in equal measure following the several safety rules announced ahead of the New Year Eve celebrations.
The operating capacities of social events, both outdoor and indoor events have been reduced and PCR requirements will be reintroduced at the border from Thursday to enter the emirate. Local authorities are also raising awareness among the general public on the need to adhere to Covid-19 safety protocols.
Despite the recent surge in cases, Abu Dhabi residents feel secure and said they would support the government efforts to contain the spread of the virus.
With such stringent preventive measures in place, Sara Mousa, a Canadian-Egyptian resident, felt she was in the safest place.
“I think the fresh restrictions have come at a very crucial time in combating the pandemic. While it has not been the holiday season we have all planned for, I have never felt safer as an Abu Dhabi-based resident. I also think it’s important to maintain the right perspective and optimistic mindset – our current situation isn’t permanent, but it’s definitely the safest.”
With the number of fresh cases reaching 2,234 on Wednesday, Dr Imran Rashid from Ahalia Hospital in Mussafah said people must act responsibly during the celebrations.
“We are now opting for a small gathering of family and close friends. I welcome the several announcements by the government to contain the spread of Covid-19. This will surely make the general public feel safe while we celebrate the New Year.”
Clara Menezes, an Indian resident, noted that she would avoid crowded places and opt for indoor celebrations.
“Since Covid-19 began, the UAE government has done their best to ensure the safety of the whole community, and the current measures being taken are definitely reassuring. To support the government and protect the residents, I have decided to stay indoors with my family and watch fireworks on the TV. Later maybe we will go for a small family outing away from crowded places,” Menezes said.
Dr Imran Rashid, who hails from Pakistan, urged community members to take utmost precautions including, RT-PCR tests.
“While we celebrate, we need to be mindful about the rise in cases after last year’s celebrations. Ensure a negative PCR test before attending events, wear masks and maintain social distance. Also, the government measures of border checks and other restrictions are very reassuring.”
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