Stock Social distancing in Dubai
Social distancing at the Dubai Mall Image Credit: Photo: Antonin Kélian Kallouche/Gulf News

As the world struggled to come to terms with the coronavirus pandemic last year and the first month of 2021, Dubai has managed to get the outbreak under control and witnessed evident economic recovery, beginning in the summer of 2020.

Nevertheless, the recent surge in infection cases across the world, with global cases surpassing the 104 million mark, has led to a renewed prevention drive by the government of Dubai to preserve the gains made in the past several months and build on those gain.

Therefore, Monday’s announcement of further precautionary measures, which took effect on Tuesday, is a welcome step to avoid similar restrictions that we saw last year, and imposed currently by many countries around the world. The new measures however need maximum compliance by the public to make them work.

In the UAE, the situation has been improving. The past few days saw a significant decline in the infection rate, by one thousand every day. With adhering to the preventive guidelines, we will win this fight

- Gulf News

The new measures include reducing audience capacity of seated indoor venues, such as cinemas and sports venues to 50 per cent, hotel occupancy, mall visitors and beaches to a maximum 70 per cent. Bars and pubs are closed until the end of February while restaurants and cafés are to close by 1am.

There will be strict monitoring and inspection campaigns to ensure compliance with those measures, including adherence to social distancing and wearing of face masks

Increased number of violations

Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, headed by Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, explained that the new decisions have been made in response to the current COVID-19 situation, noting that daily reports have shown “a marked increase in the number of violations of precautionary measures.”

The full compliance of the public is critical to mitigate the repercussions of the pandemic on public health, the economy and society, the committee noted.

As the experience of last year proved, preventive measures and the people’s adherence to those guidelines are the most effective way to stop the spread of the virus. The vaccine is very important tool to bring back life to normal, but without the responsible behaviour of the people, it will be difficult to check the spread of the infection.

We are all in this fight. The recent global coronavirus surge threatens to set back the moderate recovery made in the past few months. Governments scramble to limit the damage with the help of the vaccine. But as evident in the UK, France and other European countries, we are not out of the woods yet.

In the UAE, the situation has been steadily improving. The past few days we saw the infection rate fluctuating. By adhering to the preventive guidelines, we will win this fight.