Dubai: The emirate of Dubai has increased the capacity of testing to more than 80,000 daily, and allocated 89 hotels and buildings for isolation and quarantine, a top health official has revealed.
Addressing the Arab Conference (ARADO Conference), held virtually by the Arab Administrative Development Organisation, a leading non-profit organisation affiliated with the League of Arab States, Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), provided details about the steps taken by Dubai in prevention and protection against COVID-19.
He said the emirate has installed thermal devices in all ports (land, sea and air), and COVID-19 laboratory testing centres, providing all means and requirements for protection and prevention of workers in the first line of defense.
151 research works
With regard to the measures that have been adopted at the level of treatment and health care, Al Qutami referred to specific examples of these measures, including: raising the operational efficiency of hospitals and health centres, and establishing a field hospital in a record time with a capacity of 5,000 beds. He also indicated that the DHA has 40 scientific and medical protocols in treatment and health care systems, at the same time he explained that the health sector in Dubai conducted 151 scientific research specialised in COVID-19, dealing with (diagnosis, prevention and treatment), by doctors and experts in the authority’s hospitals and the private health sector.
He said 129 of them were approved, and five had received international scientific arbitration, and they were published and circulated internationally in bulletins, periodicals and medical references.
Al Qutami highlighted the success of Dubai, represented by the DHA, in providing integrated and comprehensive health care to members of the community at the beginning of the pandemic and during its peak until today. He stressed that the pandemic did not affect the commitment of the authority in providing all medical services to community members and patients as specialised clinics in the authority’s hospitals and centres received nearly two million visitors this year. As many as 100,000 major surgeries were also performed.
He said that the authority was also able - despite the pandemic - to provide 43,000 blood units for emergency cases, deliver 1.4 million medicine packages to patients’ homes, and also provided more than 60,000 consultations within the telemedicine system, and carried out more than 21,000 home care visits for the elderly and people of determination.
Al Qatami said that the strength of the UAE and Dubai in combating the COVID-19 pandemic is derived from the generous care and support that the wise leadership of the UAE gives to people, their health and safety.
Safety index topper
He pointed out that the UAE ranked first in the Arab world and ninth in the world in the safety index for COVID-19, according to studies and reports prepared by Forbes magazine.
Participants of the Arab Conference stressed the importance of benefiting from the UAE and Dubai’s experience in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The participants included a large number of leaders, senior officials and advisors from Arab health ministries and institutions who also stressed the importance of exchanging successful experiences to enhance the capabilities of Arab countries when facing such pandemics.
Al Qutami concluded by stressing that there are many lessons learned from the pandemic, including: how to be always prepared, ensuring scientific and research cooperation and exchange experiences.
He also stressed the importance of establishing specialized institutes for public health and family medicine in Arab countries, and providing strong monitoring networks for epidemiology and infectious diseases. Al Qutami agreed with what was proposed by the conference on the need to include pandemic response within the sustainable development agenda of Arab countries.
Measures taken by the UAE in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic
• Crisis management federally and locally through official government bodies.
• Application of high-level protocols in work systems and sectors in accordance with international standards.
• Close monitoring of all of the country’s ports (land, air and sea).
• Implementing a remote education system and working remotely
• Suspending all activities and events, closing centres and places of worship.
• Critical precautionary measures such as national sterilization and staying at home.
• Completing more than 18 million laboratory tests for COVID-19.
High Crisis Committee
Al Qutami stressed the importance of placing public health in the priorities of countries’ strategies and also stated that there has been many measures taken in Dubai, which included:
• Forming a supreme committee for crises and emergencies in Dubai, and having representatives from all concerned authorities at a high level.
• Restricting movement, implementing physical distancing, and national sterilization.
• Forming a higher committee in the DHA and specialized work teams.
• Opening channels of communication with international health institutions.
• Preparing for multiple possible scenarios.
• Monitoring strategic stocks of medicine and medical supplies.
• Raising awareness amongst the public about the pandemic.