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A COVID-19 testing centre run by Dubai Health Authority at Deira City Centre. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, Spokesperson of the National Crisis and Emergency Management Authority (NCEMA), said the UAE’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic is characterised by professionalism and is one of the most successful international models of crisis management, highlighting its regional and global humanitarian initiatives.

During the UAE Government media briefing on the latest COVID-19 pandemic developments, Al Dhaheri noted the UAE’s flexibility and readiness to address any extraordinary conditions, due to its proactive approach to challenges and its decisions, plans and strategies aimed at containing the repercussions. He also praised the role of the national media, which addressed the crisis with complete transparency.

According to Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking, the UAE leads the region’s countries and is ranked 15th globally, advancing three places compared to last July,” he stated, adding that according to Our World in Data (OWID), a scientific online publication, the UAE leads the world in the number of fully-vaccinated people and in terms of vaccine distribution for every 100 persons. 
High level of strategic integration

Achieving the nation’s strategic objectives and reaching recovery depends on the roles and responsibilities of all relevant sectors in terms of managing the pandemic, he explained, noting that the previous period witnessed a high level of strategic integration and cooperation across all sectors, which helped achieve all the objectives of the country’s proactive plans. “We noticed a significant decline in COVID-19 infections in the country, which is an achievement that we are proud of and highlights the cooperation between the health sector and other vital sectors in managing the pandemic and containing its implications, in addition to the community’s responsibility that helped reduce infections,” Al Dhaheri further added.

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Paramedics conduct an RT-PCR test at a drive-through COVID testing centre in Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

'Ensuring return to normality’

“Today we are witnessing the outcomes of the vision of the UAE’s leadership and the efforts of the National COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Management and Governance Committee, chaired by Dr Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, which aims to ensure the return to normality,” he said. “The committee has adopted a comprehensive strategic plan with performance indicators for the post-COVID period across all target sectors, to gauge the efforts of national authorities and establishments to achieve the return to the new normal. It also electronically linked digital indicators and statistics and identified the financial and economic factors essential to supporting the recovery process,” he commented.

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An elderly person is being vaccinated at a Customer Happiness Centre in Jumeirah, Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News Archives

Physical return to classrooms

“Last week, we witnessed the flexibility of the safe return of students to their schools and the cooperation between academic and administrative cadres in ensuring the safety of physical education, according to the adopted protocol of the Ministry of Education,” Al Dhaheri further stated. “Statistics have shown that the percentage of vaccinated students account for 36 per cent while the percentage of vaccinated school staff — whether administrative, academic or services staff — account for 89.5 per cent,” he added. 

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“We advise parents and educational cadres to take the vaccine, which is available at all health centres in all emirates, to ensure a safe learning environment,” he affirmed while pointing out that to ease the burdens on parents and educational cadres, and in coordination with the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the Ministry of Education, PCR tests will be made available free of charge in all public and private educational establishments.

As part of the efforts to achieve sustainable recovery across all sectors, the protocol for the reopening of mosques has been updated, Al Dhaheri explained, noting that the safe distance between people coming for prayers will be reduced to 1.5 metres, mosques on external roads will remain closed, and 50 people will be allowed for funeral prayers, provided the cause of death is not COVID-19. “We are aware that the community has a major role in ensuring the safety of everyone and protecting the country’s regional and global gains,” he said in conclusion.