'I am committed': What the yellow wristbands you're seeing around the UAE stand for

The non-profit initiative is designed to support the country's fight against Covid-19

The 'I am committed' bands will be given to everyone who gets tested for Covid-19 at a Seha testing facility. Courtesy Seha
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If you've noticed slim, yellow bands around the wrists of fellow UAE residents in recent days, they are more than just a fashion statement.

Instead, they are the product of a non-profit collaboration between Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) and 81 Designs, created to show solidarity and support for the country's fight against Covid-19.

As of Sunday, May 3, the bands are being given to every person who gets tested at any Seha-accredited screening facility in the UAE.

Adorned with the words "I am committed" in both English and Arabic, the wristbands were created to acknowledge dedication – both personal and governmental – towards curbing the spread of the pandemic.

“The UAE’s leadership has taken exemplary steps to empower the country’s healthcare sector and effectively combat the global pandemic with countrywide testing, prevention and preparedness," said Mohammed Hawas Al Sadid, chief executive of Seha, the UAE’s largest healthcare network.

“It is extremely important to continue with the concerted efforts to educate the community about the importance of adhering to the government’s preventive guidelines, especially staying home and following social distancing practices to limit the spread of the virus."

The bands were designed to show "a token of [the wearer's] commitment" to social distancing, as well as the UAE's response to the pandemic.

The UAE announced 462 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, pushing the country's total infections to 15,192.

The bands were designed with social enterprise 81 Designs. Courtesy Seha
The bands were designed with social enterprise 81 Designs. Courtesy Seha

Health officials confirmed a further nine people had died after contracting Covid-19 as the death toll linked to the virus climbed to 146. Another 187 people have beaten the disease, bringing the country's growing tally of recoveries to 3,153.

Fourteen drive-through Seha testing facilities are located across the UAE, included in Abu Dhabi's Musaffah and Al Ain.

"We are grateful to the 81 Designs team for adding a creative layer to the country’s educational programme with the beautifully designed wristbands for individuals who get tested at a Seha facility," added Al Sadid.

A social enterprise founded by Nadine Maalouf and Nesrine El Tibi Maalouf, 81 Designs primarily supports female artisans and gives refugees a platform to showcase their talent.

The country's efforts are not only being recognised locally but also at an international level

"As proud residents of the country, the ‘I am committed’ wristband is a small contribution from our organisation to creatively showcase the importance of adhering to the actions taken by the government, and urging the community to strictly abide by the directives,” said Maalouf.

"The country’s efforts are not only being recognised locally, but also at an international level."

A total of 50,000 wristbands are currently in production with the first batch of 1,600 already distributed.

Elective tests cost Dh370 and can be paid for through the Seha app. Health officials have made mass testing a focal point of their campaign to contain the virus.

More than a million tests have been conducted in the UAE.