Abu Dhabi 'more than prepared' for Covid-19 challenge, says top health official

Dr Jamal Al Kaabi says patient capacity has been greatly increased, but people should have vaccine and follow safety measures

Dr Jamal Al kaabi, Acting Undersecretary of DoH. courtesy: Jamal AL kaabi twitter account

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A senior Abu Dhabi health official says the capital is “more than prepared” to win the fight against Covid-19 amid a sharp rise in infection rates.

Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, undersecretary of the Department of Health, said the emirate had greatly bolstered its patient capacity to meet the challenges posed by the virus.

He said Abu Dhabi now has a greater understanding of the threat it poses to public health.

He said the focus was on ensuring hospital beds were available to treat Covid-19 patients.

We are a country that did not and will not close down. We learnt that life needs to continue. No matter what, this is something that we need to live with
Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, Department of Health

“We are fully prepared. While we were previously learning about the nature of the virus, we've come a long way and today we have a greater understanding of its tactics and changing mutations. We are more than prepared,” Dr Al Kaabi told The National.

“In 2020, it was all about striking fast. Right now, the virus is spreading really fast and less severe. Previously, it did not spread as fast but was more severe.”

Abu Dhabi has trebled its number of hospital beds and increased those in intensive care units by 300 per cent during the pandemic and has six field hospitals in place to ease the strain on health services.

The emergence of the highly contagious Omicron variant has caused a worldwide surge in infections.

The UAE's Covid-19 new case numbers have remained above 2,500 every day this year, having fallen to below 50 in early December.

However, Dr Al Kaabi said that the majority of the latest cases were asymptomatic.