UAE: How to celebrate New Year's Eve safely as Covid cases rise

Top healthcare practitioners advised residents to stick to entertainment activities with smaller groups instead of large gatherings



by

Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Mon 27 Dec 2021, 7:11 PM

From grand firework displays to overnight camping, massive events have been planned across the UAE for New Year's Eve. However, doctors have advised residents to stick to entertainment activities with smaller groups instead of large gatherings.

Doctors in the Emirates have advised residents to stay safe and keep their health checked before heading out for festivities on December 31.

According to healthcare practitioners, residents must remain committed to following Covid-19 rules as there has been a recent spike in cases across the country.

Dr Mohammed Salman Khan, a general practitioner at Aster Clinic in Qusais, said, "New Year's Eve celebrations is the most awaited time of the year in this part of the world. People should be more cautious in wearing face masks all the time and avoid crowded places."

'Small gatherings are recommended'

"If you're vaccinated, you can still feel relatively safe gathering indoors with a small group of vaccinated individuals," said Dr Tholfkar Al Baaj, the chief clinical officer at Al Futtaim Health.

He said, "You'll want to be more cautious when a larger group is involved, or you are in an indoor public space."

Suppose cases are high in your immediate vicinity. In that case, Dr Al Baaj recommends moving large gatherings outdoors and taking extra precautions indoors when you don't know the vaccination status of people around you.

"You may also choose to be more judicious about travelling and spending time in indoor spaces where wearing a mask and maintaining your distance are challenging — such as at bars, restaurants and group exercise classes, for instance," said Dr Al Baaj.

ALSO READ:

Booster doses are important

Dr Abdal Karim Nasaar, a pulmonologist at Burjeel Specialty Hospital, Sharjah, said getting the Covid-19 vaccine and the booster dose is significant.

"During the festival season, we should adopt all safety protocols to avoid getting the infection," said Dr Nasaar.

"Wearing a face mask, using hand sanitizer, adhering to social distancing, and avoiding greeting people with shaking or embracing them must be strictly followed," he said.

"Also, avoid large parties and restrict the celebrations within the immediate family members who are vaccinated. People from high-risk groups shall stay away from the crowd or to be extra cautious," Dr Nasaar added.

Dr Ahmed Khairy, consultant internal medicine at NMC Royal Hospital, Khalifa City, Abu Dhabi, said, "One must stay home and avoid exposing the others to the risk of infection if you have any symptoms."

Safety tips for NYE celebrations

  • Get vaccinated and the booster dose
  • Adopt all safety protocols to avoid getting the infection
  • Wearing a face mask, using hand sanitiser, adhering to physical distance, and avoiding greeting people with shaking or embracing them is to be strictly followed
  • Avoid large parties and restrict the celebrations within the immediate family members who are vaccinated
  • People from high-risk groups shall stay away from the crowd or be extra cautious

More news from UAE