The UAE has reaped the rewards of the public's commitment to safety measures during the Covid-19 pandemic as the country continues to makes strides towards a full recovery, but officials are urging residents to continue to be vigilant.
During a coronavirus briefing on Tuesday, Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, spokesman for the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, said efforts by the public as well as the comprehensive vaccination campaign have helped to drive down case numbers significantly.
The UAE recorded 136 new cases on Tuesday, the sixth day in a row infections have remained below 150.
Infection rates peaked at close to 4,000 in February but have been on a steady decline in recent months.
This growing optimism was epitomised last week by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, who said the UAE had overcome the Covid-19 crisis and urged people to return to normality.
“We appreciate the role of all sectors and the extent of their co-operation to reach this stage and the results we are witnessing,” said Dr Al Dhaheri.
“We also value the public's role, awareness and commitment to various precautionary and preventive measures. Today, we are reaping the fruits of national efforts, with a significant decrease in the infection rate.”
He said the UAE's strong vaccination rates were helping the nation move towards herd immunity.
More than 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered since a nationwide vaccination drive was launched in December.
As of Tuesday, 95.68 per cent of the public has received one dose of a vaccine and 85.52 per cent has been fully vaccinated.
Safety measures remain vital
The official said the Emirates had “overcome the most difficult part of the challenge” — but cautioned against complacency in the fight against the pandemic.
“We must maintain the progress that has been achieved by continuing to adhere to precautionary and preventive measures and adherence to health and safety standards in all circumstances and cases until achieving a full recovery, God willing,” he said.
“This crisis proved that adhering to the precautionary measures had the greatest role in protecting everyone, in addition to taking vaccinations, which contributed to ensuring the health and recovery of society.”
He said it was vital to abide by safety measures — such as the wearing of masks, taking PCR tests and social distancing — to safeguard public health.
“We call upon the honourable public to support their national efforts, commitment and co-operation by adhering to the measures that have been announced, as the risk of infection is still present and the world is still facing the threat of this epidemic.
“Thank you all and we appreciate your tireless efforts to enhance the safety and stability of the country in health, economy and security.”