Dubai: The first coronavirus case was reported in the UAE on January 29, 2020. Today, just 11 months later, residents can choose from COVID-19 vaccines. There is a sense of renewed hope and confidence as we celebrate the new year, thanks to the authorities who have faced an unprecedented crisis with a firm hand and will.
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Since the early introduction of the national sterilization program in March, the authorities, under centralized command, have continued to add new precautionary measures, while establishing the necessary infrastructure for testing, quarantine, isolation and treatment of confirmed cases.
As flights continued to be suspended and retailers worked under restrictions, the UAE remained one of the few countries in the world that could boast food safety to cope with any eventuality. Even at the height of the pandemic, the Emirates did not see a fight for food in supermarkets, as there was enough and more for everyone. So much so that the generous government continued to live up to its reputation and regularly sent aid to other affected countries.
“The UAE is engaged in the global fight against COVID-19. We are delighted to support this process and welcome partnerships between UAE organizations and international players to enable promising solutions and progress. ”
– Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention of the United Arab Emirates
Anticipating the increase in cases long before they occurred, health authorities were quick to prepare for any requirements. Field hospitals with enormous capacities appeared in rapid succession in the Emirates; Anyone with symptoms could go to any hospital emergency for testing, even when transit facilities have been opened. The extensive swab testing network across the country helped detect cases quickly.
The introduction of the ALHOSN application in the UAE allowed for contact tracing and entire blocks of people who were in contact with a positive patient could be quarantined in time. Tests have increased to such an extent that the UAE quickly ranked in the top five countries in the world for COVID-19 testing per capita.
Advances on the vaccine front have also made headlines internationally. In July, the United Arab Emirates started phase III trials of the Sinopharm inactivated vaccine developed by Chinese experts. In October, the UAE also announced that it would host phase III trials for an adenovirus-based vaccine developed in Russia. At the time, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, UAE Minister of Health and Prevention, said: “The UAE is engaged in the global fight against COVID-19. We are delighted to support this process and welcome partnerships between UAE organizations and international players to enable promising solutions and progress. ”
A leader from the front, Abu Dhabi has also made headlines internationally by becoming the global logistics hub to facilitate the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine around the world. Etihad Cargo, a member of the Hope Consortium created for this purpose, shipped 5 million vaccines in November on behalf of the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.
In Dubai, the Supreme Committee on Crisis and Disaster Management announced last week a free mass vaccination campaign against COVID-19 with Pfizer vaccine. The first batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived from Brussels on an Emirates SkyCargo flight.