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Coronavirus

UAE urges public to wear face masks, get vaccinated as COVID-19 cases rise

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A failure to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing face masks, not social distancing and holding large gatherings have contributed to a rise in COVID-19 cases across the United Arab Emirates, the country’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said on Tuesday.

The health authority said an “increasing numbers of infections” have been recorded across the UAE since Eid al-Fitr was marked in the country in May.

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The NCEMA has urged residents across the UAE to abide by preventative measures put in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 ahead of the upcoming Eid al-Adha celebrations in July, and as more residents prepare to travel during the summer holidays.

Health sector spokesperson Dr Farida al-Hosani said the UAE also calls on unvaccinated members of society to take the available vaccines to protect themselves against the virus.

The UAE has now vaccinated 87.17 percent of its eligible population over the age of 16 and more than 99.52 percent of its elderly residents, according to al-Hosani.

“The UAE is at the forefront of Arab countries in handling COVID-19,” she said, in a statement.

However, NCEMA said new mutant strains of COVID-19 pose a high risk to residents, especially those who have yet to be vaccinated.

“The virus variants are continuously monitored to identify the latest developments and their impact on the efficiency of the vaccinations,” the health organization said in a tweet.

“The variants pose a high risk for society, especially vaccinated people. Therefore, we call upon the unvaccinated people to take the vaccines.”

The health body said the UAE is continuing to carry out studies on the efficiency and impact on COVID-19 vaccines.

To date, it said, the UAE’s Ministry of Health, together with academic partners, have conducted more than 400 scientific medical studies as part of efforts to gain more knowledge of the virus and combat the pandemic.

Results from studies show that those who have been fully vaccinated are those who have received a booster dose are “less susceptible to infection, complications, hospitalization, and the need for ventilators compared to unvaccinated individuals,” the NCEMA said.

“We recommend that eligible individuals hurry up and get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and society, and support the national efforts to achieve social immunity and obtain recovery phase.”

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The United Arab Emirates has seen daily cases rise over recent weeks.

The UAE recorded 2,127 new coronavirus infections, 2,094 recoveries and four deaths in 24 hours, state news agency WAM reported on Tuesday.

As of Tuesday, there have been 601,950 total diagnosed cases in the UAE since the pandemic’s onset and the death toll sits at 1,734.

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