An epidemic like the coronavirus outbreak poses major challenges to countries and governments. Panic sets in and decision-making can be knee-jerk and hazardous. So mature leadership is important. The UAE’s measured response to Covid-19 outbreak shows exactly how to handle the situation.
The move to declare early spring vacation for schools, colleges and universities are the latest in a raft of measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Some of the measures include the strict screening of all passengers arriving in the country and reduced frequency or cancellation of UAE flights to certain destinations. To prevent large assembly of people, several major events were cancelled or postponed, and sick people have been asked to avoid attending congregational prayers.
The closure of educational institutions for four weeks and the move to introduce distance learning is an effective measure to protect students. It will help keep the healthy pupils away from any infected person, and at the same time, it will not compromise on the classes they would miss
The scale of infection worldwide is mindboggling. The pathogen has spread to 53 countries from China, where it originated. More than 3,000 people have died of it and more than 92,000 cases have been reported. Yet Covid-19 is not a killer. If you are healthy or if you have good immunity, the disease can be cured.
The UAE’s robust healthcare system is capable of handling the disease. Although 27 cases have been reported, five of the infected have recovered and there have been no deaths. That is indeed a testament to the efficacy of the system. Moreover, the UAE Cabinet review on Tuesday found that the preventive measures and awareness programmes are being carried out in line with the international best practices. And that is reassuring.
The closure of educational institutions for four weeks and the move to introduce distance learning is an effective measure to protect students. It will help keep the healthy pupils away from any infected person, and at the same time, it will not compromise on the classes they would miss.
Although the government has taken adequate measures to battle the virus, it is up to each of us to practise good hygiene to protect ourselves and others as well. Regular and thorough washing of hands with soap and water is the best way to keep out the virus, especially if you have been to public places.
Covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and wearing a mask if you are ill, will help prevent the spread of germs and protect the people around you.
Use sanitisers, if you have access to them. By protecting yourself, you are protecting others as well. Stay safe, stay healthy.