Coronavirus

UAE COVID-19 daily cases drop steadily as students gear up for new school term

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The UAE reported 545 new COVID-19 cases on Saturday, in a weeks-long pattern of mostly declining daily infections.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) reported no new deaths, maintaining the total deaths caused by COVID-19 since its inception at 2,341.

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A total 1,013,331 coronavirus infections were recorded in the UAE since the outbreak, of which 992,016 people have successfully recovered as of Saturday.

The Gulf country crossed its one million COVID-19 cases mark on August 9.

The UAE health authorities took firm measures to combat the outbreak, including a number of measures to tackle a wave of omicron variant cases that pushed daily COVID-19 numbers up in recent months.

As a result, in June, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) reemphasized that it would strictly enforce mask rules – with penalties for those flouting the protocol – and announced it would tighten its rules on the Al Hosn green pass system.

The average rate of daily COVID-19 infections recorded by the Gulf country has declined since these measures were re-emphasized.

The same month, the UAE said it achieved the goal of its national COVID-19 vaccination campaign, announcing that 100 percent of the targeted categories had been vaccinated.

The country continues to offer free vaccinations to all residents.

So far, the UAE has administered 24,922,054 vaccine doses and has conducted over 183 million tests for the virus, according to NCEMA.

Back to school

UAE’s authorities updated COVID-19 safety measures for the academic year 2022-2023 which will see more than one million students and 65,000 educational staff return to educational institutions.

On the first day of school, students aged 12 and above as well as teachers, administrative employees and service providers must present a negative PCR test conducted within 96 hours, NCEMA said on Tuesday.

However, the negative PCR test is only required on the first day of school.

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Social distancing and temperature checks have been canceled inside educational institutions and buses, although institutions can choose to administer social distancing policies as it deems fit.

Face masks continue to be mandatory.

International efforts

Meanwhile on Friday, the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 chief said it was time for a reality check on the virus after the millionth death from the disease this year.

Maria Van Kerkhove, the WHO’s technical lead COVID-19, said the toll was “heartbreaking” because the tests, treatments, vaccines and public health measures to control the disease were all available.

The UAE has vowed to continue to support international efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 during a global action plan meeting on measures to address the ongoing pandemic.

Reem bint Ibrahim al-Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation, in a COVID-19 Global Action Plan Foreign Ministerial Meeting, reaffirmed the UAE’s commitment to continue working with the international community, pledging in May 2022 to provide an additional $60 million/

She noted that the UAE is looking forward to working closely with the World Bank’s Financial Intermediary Fund to provide vaccines in a sustainable manner.

In addition, al-Hashimy further emphasized that in the last meeting of the global action plan, the challenges facing the supply chains for vaccine production were highlighted, stating that “the UAE was able, through its strong infrastructure, location and huge logistical capabilities, to meet these challenges and transport more than 1.3 billion doses of vaccines to countries in need.”

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