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A top UAE health official says that children below the age of three years should wear face shields while aged three and above should wear face mask to remain protected from COVID-19. Photo for illustrative purpose only. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Abu Dhabi: Children below the age of three years should wear face shields to remain protected from COVID-19, a top health official has said.

Children aged more than three, on the other hand, should wear face masks, and parents should avoid taking children to crowded areas, especially playgrounds, advised Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for the UAE’s health sector.

Dr Al Hosani made the recommendations during a virtual discussion between the UAE Ministry of Justice and the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC), which studies and promotes public health and well-being in Abu Dhabi Emirate.

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Last year in August, Dr Omar Al Hammadi, official UAE Government spokesperson, had recommended during a COVID-19 briefing that children aged two and older wear masks. However, he had added that children avoid donning masks if they have breathing difficulties, or if they are unable to remove the masks on their own.

The latest recommendation comes as the UAE works to increase vaccine distribution in the country in a bid to reach herd immunity. In one of the latest studies by the ADPHC on vaccine efficacy, the authority, in fact, found that no person in Abu Dhabi Emirate who had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine had died.

Key pillar

Dr Al Hosani said face masks are a key pillar protection from COVID-19. She then emphasised the importance of getting vaccinated in order to protect everyone, especially the elderly and children.

“The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has affected citizens and residents and changed lifestyles, habits and the way people interact with each other within the Emirati community. It also made families and the community adopt new healthy lifestyles and encouraged children and the youth to take responsibilities and be independent, and changed several negative lifestyle behaviours,” the official said.

Attendees from the Ministry lauded Dr Al Hosani for her efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.