Coronavirus: No change to UAE mask rules as officials monitor new strains

Daily cases in the UAE have dropped to less than 100

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The UAE public was thanked for their commitment to driving down Covid-19 cases on Tuesday but told rules including the use of masks in all places will remain.

There has been a significant drop in the number of cases in recent weeks, with the daily toll falling below 100 since Thursday, October 21.

However, with new variants of the Delta, Alpha and Gamma strains causing spikes in cases in Europe, the Americas and South Africa, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Agency said measures will remain in place.

"We have been calling on all of you to respect the precautionary measures because this helps us to protect the health of everyone," Dr Noura Al Ghaithi, official spokeswoman of the UAE Health Sector, told the weekly Covid-19 briefing.

"Wearing masks, physical distancing, sanitising the hands and the surfaces – all of these measures have become the new lifestyle that we should be used to in the coming period.

"The importance of abiding by these measures have become a necessity, especially with the spread of the mutations that might constitute a risk for some."

Ms Al Ghaithi said the UAE's high vaccination rates were helping it move towards herd immunity.

More than 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been given since a nationwide drive began in December.

As of Tuesday, 97.16 per cent of the public have received one dose of a vaccine and 87 per cent have been fully vaccinated.

"We are getting closer to the community immunity that we target for us to go back to our normal life," Ms Al Ghaithi said.

"The vaccine has contributed greatly in decreasing the number of infections.

"We call upon all of you once again to receive the booster shot to ensure our safety and everyone's safety."

The government encourages people who had a Sinopharm vaccine more than six months ago to get a booster, which could either be Sinopharm or Pfizer, to maintain protection against the disease.

Authorities also allow people to take a full course of Pfizer, two shots, after receiving Sinopharm more than six months ago, allowing them to travel to places that do not recognise Sinopharm.

US researchers found that two doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine are highly effective at preventing illness severe enough to require hospital admission, even against the Delta variant.

Updated: October 27, 2021, 4:01 AM