Health officials in the United Arab Emirates have called on members of the public to get information about COVID-19 from trusted sources and avoid rumors and misinformation.
During the UAE’s weekly COVID-19 briefing, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) said, despite leading global vaccination rates and record-low virus rates, the UAE is continuing its efforts to combat the spread of the coronavirus across the country.
NCEMA, posting on Twitter, praised the community’s adherence to safety protocols and vaccine uptake, saying this has helped the UAE lead global efforts to overcome the pandemic.
However, the health body urged people to verify information about the virus from verified sources or news sites.
“The spread of misinformation and rumors is damaging, as it hinders the country’s efforts to recover across different sectors.” it said.
“We call upon our audience to confirm the accuracy of news being circulated on social media. We stress on the need to obtain information from official accredited sources to avoid legal liability.”
“All information and protocols on the pandemic are shared through official platforms, in addition to information on the vaccines and other topics of interest to the Emirati society.”
NCEMA said on Tuesday that the UAE recorded 277 new COVID-19 cases and no further virus-related deaths in the previous 24 hours.
A total of 2,094 people have died from COVID-19 in the UAE, while 735,457 cases have been recorded overall.
Meanwhile, 329 people recovered from the virus, bringing the total number of recoveries to 727, 845.
Expo 2020 Dubai and a return to normalcy
NCEMA said the UAE continues to strive to eradicate COVID-19 societies and implement safety protocols, especially as the country prepares to open to the world as Expo 2020 Dubai kicks-off with a glittering opening ceremony on Thursday.
“The efforts of the UAE to combat COVID-19 are ongoing as it forms committees and teams across sectors to ensure the health and safety of society, especially as we approach major events and activities.”
The health body also urged members to the public to get their seasonal flu jab on top of their COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots, saying it is important people protect themselves against influenza as well as the coronavirus.
“Protecting the UAE’s achievements (in low virus rates) is a national responsibility. At this phase, social integration is essential to return to a new normal life. We recommend following all measures, regular testing and getting vaccinated.”
Easing COVID-19 restrictions
The UAE has been reporting a significant drop in cases over the last few months as it continues to lead global vaccination efforts.
To date, 93.7 percent of the population have had at least one dose of the vaccine, while 83 percent have been double-jabbed.
Authorities in the UAE on Wednesday announced that compulsory mask rules would be relaxed in certain areas.
People exercising in public places, using private transportation with members of the same household, using swimming pools, beachgoers, medical center patients, and customers of beauty salons and barber shops will no longer be required by law to wear a mask.
Members of the public must still maintain a distance of two meters from one another, NCEMA added.
Local authorities will be obligated to erect signs in places where masks are no longer compulsory.