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KT edit: The UAE’s smart pandemic plans have worked well

Filed on August 1, 2021
Wam

The strategy to contain and mitigate was clear from the start of the pandemic campaign that was conducted on a war footing.


The bio-bubble has worked well in the UAE and it’s gone to plan with the right amount of government intervention. Cases have fallen and plateaued with July being the best month so far. From tracing, testing, treatment to testing for the virus early last year, to just tracing and vaccinating now – a two-step process in the fight against the coronavirus — the UAE has come a long way in so short a time. Success stemmed from leaders and health officials not underestimating the virus and the havoc it could cause on people and the economy. The strategy to contain and mitigate was clear from the start of the pandemic campaign that was conducted on a war footing.

This led to a better understanding of the pathogen and the path it could take. An early start to the vaccination gave the country confidence to plan for a sustainable recovery even as other countries have lagged in their efforts to get jabs to the arms of people. This remains a concern as continents like Africa are yet to get vaccines delivered to their people as rich countries in the West hoard the shots fearing a second wave and a reluctant population who are now out on the streets. Some in Australia and Europe are even protesting new restrictions. But it’s been worth the wait for Covid-19 numbers to fall in the UAE. The data does not lie and points towards what could be termed herd immunity that could make the population less vulnerable to serious infection. The figures show that 70 per cent of the population has been vaccinated so have some form of protection against the virus. Children are the next step in the campaign and efforts are on to jab kids over 12 before the start of the school year.

Travel restrictions have made the bio-bubble more secure, though critics may point to a loss of business in some sectors. What the UAE has done is to balance health and livelihoods. It has never taken its eye off the spread of the virus and the results are a ray of hope when compared to the global scenario that has been a tale of fits and starts. But this is no form of normalcy and those seeking an early return to the so-called good old days would be advised to wait and tread with caution. The virus remains unpredictable, and experts are still getting their heads around the pathogen and its trajectory as it changes gears and appearance with extra spikes. Variants like Delta are a concern and there are fears of more mutations. Surveillance is, therefore, important even as cases dip in the UAE but it’s good to know that we are in safe hands.





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