UAE public supports return to offices and schools as confidence in Covid strategy grows

A Ministry of Community Development poll found trust in the national response to the pandemic has risen significantly

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Public confidence in the UAE's Covid-19 recovery strategy continues to grow as schools, offices and places of worship resume operations in a gradual return to normality.

Nasser Al Zaabi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Community Development, said measures taken by the government to overcome the pandemic had been well received by the public.

An extensive vaccination campaign has been central to maintaining trust in government efforts to limit the spread of the virus, he said.

"The community has a vital role to play in combating any challenge. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we realised the importance of safeguarding the community’s health and safety to reach safe recovery for all members of the community,' said Mr Al Zaabi during the weekly coronavirus briefing.

Mr Al Zaabi said polling conducted by the ministry showed an increase in confidence among respondents from 25 per cent in April, 2020 to 95 per cent in August this year.

The spokesman said optimism among those surveyed about the country's Covid-19 response had risen from 34 per cent in April of last year to 94 per cent in August.

The ministry survey found 79 per cent of people backed the full return of staff to offices, with 90 per cent in support of welcoming worshippers to mosques and 73 per cent in favour of pupils returning to classrooms.

The UAE has gradually allowed schools, businesses and places of worship to open their doors in line with Covid-19 safety measures as part of a wider strategy to bolster the economy and bring back a sense of normality following 18 months of disruption caused by the pandemic.

"UAE provided the vaccine via a national campaign targeting all age groups, making senior citizens and people of determination a priority," said Mr Al Zaabi.

This priority has been extended to school pupils to ensure safe and effective vaccination for all, he said.

More than 19 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered to the public to date, with 90.8 per cent of the population having received one dose and 79.63 per cent being fully vaccinated.

"The UAE is one of the first countries to recover from the pandemic by providing the necessary elements needed to return to normal life, the most important of which is the vaccine," said Mr Al Zaabi.

As vaccination rates steadily rise, daily infection numbers continue to drop.

On Tuesday, the UAE recorded 617 new cases, its lowest tally in more than a year.

Infections have declined throughout the summer months, having peaked at close to 4,000 a day in February.

Updated: September 15, 2021, 3:57 AM