At a time when the world is facing a serious threat of Coronavirus becoming a pandemic, the UAE has taken commendable steps to contain the virus by mounting a coordinated response involving multiple agencies.
The country has placed protocols, processes and people in place and activated a response system that matches international standards and World Health Organisation guidelines.
The UAE is consciously aware of the risks it faces as the virus is spreading. As a travel and tourism hub, the UAE is potentially at greater risk of people entering the country carrying the virus which has killed 2,800 with over 83,000 cases reported worldwide. So far, the UAE has announced 19 cases, including five people who have made a full recovery.
The UAE has demonstrated that the war against the virus can be won by a measured response, a robust health care system, effective communication and transparency
Right from the day when the UAE announced its first cases on February 2, the authorities, including Ministry of Health and UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, have given public health top priority.
From screening inbound passengers from affected regions and monitoring outbound travel of citizens and expats to isolating those who came in contact with the diagnosed cases — everything is being done to contain the virus from spreading.
The UAE has acted swiftly in response to the growing number of cases in Iran and other countries in the region. Again, the nation is prioritising public health despite the economic cost involved in such measures. Suspension of ferry services from Iran and halting of the UAE cycling tour demonstrate the seriousness of the authorities to contain the virus.
Most importantly, all steps taken to contain the virus have been done without spreading panic and without appearing to be excessive. The country’s health care infrastructure is fully equipped to deal with this epidemic which is evolving daily.
While authorities are responding to the virus, officials, including Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, have kept the nation informed, assuring people that everything is being done to deal with this highly virulent infection.
On Wednesday, while announcing a new medical facility to accommodate those affected by coronavirus in case of a global emergency, Al Owais said the government has completed technical, medical and logistical preparations to set up the medical facility away from residential areas so that the affected can be accommodated in isolation and treated.
The UAE has demonstrated that the war against the virus can be won by such a measured response, a robust health care system, effective communication and transparency.