Coronavirus: Dubai suspends dental services in some clinics amid rising cases in UAE

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Dubai suspended on Tuesday some non-urgent elective dental services and reduced the number of dental clinics accross the emirate's health authority facilities as a precaution against the spread of the coronavirus, amid continually rising numbers of daily COVID-19 infections in the UAE.

"The dental services for urgent cases are being provided under stringent preventive measures, while ensuring that medical staff are wearing special masks, face shields, gloves and medical gowns that cover the entire body," the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said.

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"Other measures implemented at the facilities include ensuring physical distancing between customers and comprehensive sterilisation after each patient," the statement added.

Dubai announced on Monday replacing the head of the DHA, appointing Awad Saghir al-Ketbi as the new director general, in place of Humai al-Qutaimi, the Dubai Media Office said in a statement without giving a reason for the change.

The number of daily coronavirus infections in the UAE has been consistently rising since the beginning of January, crossing the 2,000 threshold for the first time since the pandemic broke on January 6, and the 3,000 mark on January 12. The country reported its highest yet daily number of infections on Tuesday, at 3,601 cases.

The country's coronavirus tally currently stands at 285,147 confirmed cases, 259,194 recovered patients and 805 deaths.

On January 22, Dubai began increasing precautionary measures against the spread of COVID-19, instructing gyms to increase physical distancing between sports equipment and trainees from 2 to 3 meters, mandating restaurants and cafes increase distance separating tables from 2 to 3 meters and reducing the number of patrons at one table, as well as limiting the number of attendees at weddings, social events and private parties to a maximum of 10 people only.

Elective surgeries have also been suspended until February 19. The list of elective surgeries includes but is not limited to neurosurgical procedures, fractures and corrective orthopaedic procedures, cardiological and radiological interventions, stone and urological stent removals, and other urgent procedures in general surgery, ophthalmology, paediatrics, obstetrics, gynaecology and other specialties.

The UAE has ramped up its vaccination campaign with the aim of immunizing more than 50 percent of its population by the first quarter of 2021. So far more than 2.6 million vaccine doses have been administered.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA) said: "The UAE ranked secnd in the world in daily doses last week, with an average of 6.06 doses per 100 people. It is the fifth country in the world to provide COVID-19 vaccination doses after the United States, China, the United Kingdom and Israel."

The three coronavirus vaccines currently registered in the UAE are Sinophram, Pfizer and Sputnik V.

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