COVID-19 infection spike
COVID-19 infection spike Image Credit: Muhammed Nahas/Gulf News

Pandemic experts worldwide are unanimous in their prescription — stay the course, stay the course and stay the course.

Get vaccinated, wear mask and maintain social distancing. There is no other way to defeat the disease that has been swinging wildly from one end to another. The pandemic graph, regardless of continents and countries, shows flat lines, spikes or bumps — a trajectory that is hard to predict and occasionally hard to decipher. Extended periods of flat lines or declines have resulted in complacency with disastrous consequences, recent experiences of nations show.

The World Health Organisation that monitors broad global patterns of the disease last week noticed an increase in fresh infections. No doubt vaccination has yielded good results in several countries. For example, in UK where vaccination is on track to meet its target yesterday recorded 158 deaths and 6,040 cases, a drop from last Saturday when 290 deaths and 7,434 cases were reported.

The country is now expanding the vaccination to those aged 56 to 59. Similarly, in the United States, cases increased by about 65,000 on Friday, in a week during which new infections dropped by 12 per cent. Russia and some pockets of Europe are also reporting significant declines.

However, in Italy, the government is planning to identify ‘red zones’ if the threshold of 250 weekly virus cases per 100,000 inhabitants is breached. Other measures may include closure of shopping malls. Europe as a whole has reported a spike in new infections, data released on Thursday showed. Cases surged in central and eastern Europe after declining for six weeks, another sign of unpredictable trajectory of the pandemic.

In the UAE, 2,613 news cases and 12 deaths were reported on Sunday, taking the overall infections in the country to 410,849. The UAE is testing a large number of people on a daily basis and has administered more than six doses and appears to be on track to cover 50 per cent of population by end of this month.

Still, daily cases and mortalities remain a concern, prompting authorities to enforce safety measures in public areas and fining violators across the country.

The cases are expected to decline after the vaccinated population develops antibodies, a process that takes several weeks and helps in breaking the chain and halting or slowing down the pandemic. Till then, people must continue to follow virus safety protocols and get vaccinated.