Coronavirus: UAE records 68 new cases and no deaths

Mass testing and one of the world's fastest vaccination drives has helped the UAE curb the pandemic

One of the world's fastest vaccination drives has helped the UAE curb the pandemic. Dubai Health Authority

The UAE recorded 68 new Covid-19 cases on Saturday, bringing the country's overall count to 741,858.

Another 98 people beat the virus as the recoveries climbed to 736,699.

No fatalities were recorded meaning the death toll stays at 2,145.

The latest cases were detected as a result of an additional 294,480 tests, with the UAE passing the 100 million PCR test mark over the weekend.

The UAE introduced mass testing early in the pandemic. Ruel Pableo for The National

Mass testing and one of the world's fastest vaccination drives have helped the UAE curb the pandemic.

The country on Friday noted that 100 per cent of the population had received at least one Covid-19 vaccine dose. Just over 90 per cent have received both doses.

It comes as a new variant of the virus has set alarm bells ringing across the world.

The variant - first detected in South Africa and named Omicron by the World Health Organisation - has led to flight bans and a scramble to determine vaccine efficacy.

The UAE has suspended the entry of travellers from seven southern Africa countries due to concerns about it.

The decision, effective from November 29, affects passengers who have travelled through South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Eswatini, Zimbabwe, Botswana or Mozambique over the past 14 days.

Omicron is the latest Covid-19 strain to emerge following the currently dominant Delta variant.

Scientists at the Who cautioned, however, that it would take several weeks too assess how contagious the variant is, if it causes severe illness or evades vaccine.

Work is also under way to look at tweaking vaccines against new coronavirus mutations.

Authorities in the UAE have long urged people to continue to follow Covid-19 rules despite the fall in cases. They also advised taking holidays at home during the coming season.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, a government health spokeswoman, said travel was allowed but not advised, given the high rates of infections overseas.

Covid-19 has not ended”, she said on Twitter on Wednesday.

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Updated: November 27th 2021, 10:14 AM