The UAE has overcome COVID-19. The last 18 months were certainly challenging. The coronavirus pandemic threw life out of gear for all of us. Our social habits changed. Restrictions were imposed at work, schools and during travel. Economies around the world shrunk to historic lows as most business activities were shut.
And let us not forget the sad fact that nearly 5 million people lost their lives worldwide because of the virus. But as many parts of the world still grapple with the impact of the pandemic, the UAE has emerged in “very good condition,” His Highness Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces said on Wednesday.
Addressing the guests of his public Majlis in Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed said: “I announce to you that things are good; the health condition in the UAE is good. I would like to affirm to you all that our lives must get back to normal.”
The reassuring announcement by Sheikh Mohamed is the result of the sound planning and strategic vision of the leadership and 18 months of hard work by federal and local authorities and private institutions in addition to the public’s commitment to official health guidelines such as face mask wearing, social distancing, and working and studying from home.
On Thursday, the UAE registered 144 new Covid-19 cases, the lowest record since April 2020. The number of new cases remained well under 200 during the last week. Nearly 90 million PCR tests have been conducted in the UAE since the start of the pandemic, a world record per capita, and over 20 million vaccine doses administered — another world record.
Today, life has gotten steadily back to normal. Students are back in schools, most employees are at work, and thousands flocking to the largest public event in the world since the outbreak of coronavirus — Expo 2020 Dubai. Next week will see the opening of the popular Gitex electronic show, and next month, Dubai Airshow, one of the largest aviation events in the world, will open its door again.
We have overcome the pathogen. That is a fact underscored by the statistics, including the pace of the economic growth in the UAE in the past two quarters and the International Monetary Fund’s projections of next year.
We have come so far. The UAE has prevailed and learned valuable lessons in the process, Sheikh Mohamed noted. “Maybe our habits might change a little. We will adjust and make some changes in our habits, such as our work, our children’s education or our private lives.”
It was a tough fight against the ruthless pandemic that wreaked havoc all over the world, where even the mightiest and most developed states succumbed to its disastrous repercussions. In the UAE, we have emerged stronger and healthier.