Despite the pandemic, there were massive New Year celebrations, as well as Catholic and Orthodox Christmas in Dubai. By the way, they were attended by many stars of US and Russian show businesses, yearning for sold-out performances.
The fact is that Dubai has earned a reputation as a city capable of hosting world-class leisure, cultural and entertainment events — from concerts and festivals to sports tournaments and much more.
Today, restaurants and cafes are open in UAE, with mandatory of the principle of social distancing. In particular, indoors, the safe distance between people should be at least three meters on each side. Visitors are required to come in masks, which, however, are allowed to be removed after taking their place.
All public places are being carefully disinfected. In all public places is a check of the body temperature, the citizens have to wear masks, and violators are subject to a fine equivalent to at today’s exchange rate of 674 Euros.
Dubai daily receives big numerous of tourists with insurance covers COVID -19 cases, conducts its own free test at the airport, there are no restrictions on movement around city so far. But night clubs are still closed until further notice.
It must be said that from the very beginning of COVID -19 crisis, the leadership of the United Arab Emirates stressed that the health of society is its top priority. Now Emirates — among leaders to vaccinate the population. In October 2020 vaccination started for an emergency use, and now it is accessible to all citizens and residents of the UAE over 18 years, and especially to older people and with chronicle diseases. The vaccine is provided free of charge, voluntarily and consists of two doses. The second dose is taken 21-28 days after the first one. Vaccinated citizens are released from home quarantine 28 days after taking the second dose.
At 10th of January the Ministry of Health and Prevention of UAE (MOHAP) announced that it has bypassed the milestone of one million doses of the vaccine, providing 1,086,568 doses, with over 250,000 people receiving two doses.
The vaccine complements the precautions that have been taken in the UAE since the start of the pandemic and have been praised by many international organizations. According to the Global Soft Power Index, UAE are ahead of the rest of the Middle East in terms of the effectiveness of the fight against the pandemic.
The country has launched several innovative initiatives to counter the pandemic, including the Al Hosn App, in addition to opening COVID -19 testing centers across the country. UAE government has announced a plan to vaccinate more than a half of population in the first quarter of 2021. This is expected to result in herd immunity, which will prevent transmission of the disease from one person to another.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: «The Covid-19 pandemic has challenged the world in an unprecedented manner. In Abu Dhabi, we are proud to have prioritized protecting our community and curbing the spread of the virus, while being active in finding solutions by partnering with other global leaders to participate in clinical trials that have contributed to ensuring a vaccine is now available. As we enter 2021, we want to ensure our people continue to be safe, which is why the vaccines have undergone rigorous trials to ensure their safety, efficacy and quality. I hope you choose to vaccinate to protect your health and the health of our nation.»
The authorities hope that every citizen of UAE will choose “ to vaccinate to help get our lives back to normal.» So what choice UAE citizens do have today?
At 9th of January The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced the addition of a seventh centre offering the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, as part of its COVID-19 vaccination campaign.
Chinese vaccine developed by the Sinopharm CNBG’s Beijing Institute of Biological Products was approved in UAE as effective in the beginning of December 2020. In its studies in the United Arab Emirates participated 31000 volunteers from 125 nationalities.
Since 7th of January volunteers in Abu Dhabi have begun taking part in Phase III clinical trials of the Russian adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccine (Sputnik V). The vaccine is being tested on healthy adults from various nationalities aged 18+ years, who live in Abu Dhabi, have not previously been infected with COVID-19, have not participated in any other COVID-19 vaccination trial, and have not suffered any communicable or severe respiratory diseases for at least 14 days.
Volunteers receives two doses of the vaccine, administered 20 days apart, and will be monitored through regular visits and tele-consultations for 180 days after taking the vaccine, in line with the highest international standards. By the way, The Phase III clinical trials taking place in the UAE form part of the trials that are taking place in Russia and elsewhere globally. At 21 of January UAE approved Russia`s Sputnik COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use.
At 25th of January UAE announces 3591 new COVID-19 cases, 3820 recoveries, 6 deaths in last 24 hours. The Ministry of Health and Prevention, MoHAP, announced that it conducted 140,477 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment. In a statement, the Ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. As part of its intensified testing campaign, MoHAP announced 3591 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 281546. According to the Ministry, the infected individuals are from various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care. MoHAP also announced 6 deaths due to COVID-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 798. The Ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished COVID-19 patients a speedy and full recovery. It called on all members of the society to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to the instructions and physical distance to ensure the health and safety of all. MoHAP also noted that an additional 3820 individuals had fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 255304.
At 5th of January The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced that the isolation period for certain COVID-19 patients and close contact cases has been reduced to 10 days from the initial 14-day period. The shortened isolation period is applicable to COVID-19 patients who did not develop any symptoms since testing positive. The reduced isolation period also applies to patients with mild cases of COVID-19 who have fully recovered from their symptoms — without the use of fever-reducing medications. Individuals who have come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case but did not develop any symptoms should also abide by the new quarantine period of 10 days, starting from the day they were exposed to the confirmed case.
As for patients who are hospitalized due to developing moderate, severe or critical COVID-19 symptoms, they can only be discharged when they have tested negative in a PCR test two consecutive times that are 24 hours (or more) apart. In this case, the patient should also be not febrile for more than three days without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, the patient should also have improved minimal respiratory symptoms and their pulmonary imaging must show significant improvements.
According to DHA, this category of patients should self-isolate for seven days after they are discharged. If symptoms appear again during the two-week period after discharge, they should revisit the clinic for a follow up.
The DHA said that shortening the quarantine period is based on global research on COVID-19, which found that the majority of contact cases get infected within the first 10 days from last exposure.