Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon praises public's role in fight against Covid-19

People's response to government's treatment and prevention programme showed UAE's readiness for future emergencies, says chairman of Frontline Heroes Office

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The public's response to the coronavirus pandemic and commitment to safety measures has enabled the UAE to successfully carry out its treatment and prevention programme, Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, chairman of the board of directors of the Frontline Heroes Office, said on Friday.

Mass screening and a national vaccination campaign have been vital in the UAE's strategy to curb the spread of the virus, which swept around the globe more than two and a half years ago.

Authorities introduced strict stay-at-home measures and disinfection operations in the early stages of the outbreak.

Travel was suspended and workplaces and schools were closed as precautionary measures.

Our leadership set out a clear path for protecting our people during the pandemic
Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon

Officials put in place physical distancing rules, made the wearing of masks in public mandatory and introduced the vaccination programme.

In June, the government announced that 100 per cent of all target groups in the country had been vaccinated. To date, nearly 25 million vaccine doses have been administered.

Safety measures have been gradually eased in recent months to support a return to normality and to take into account drops in case numbers.

On Tuesday, the UAE surpassed the one million-infection milestone, making it the 68th country to exceed that figure, figures compiled by the Worldometer data aggregation site show.

Acting together as one

Sheikh Sultan said the UAE has been recognised as one of the most resilient countries in the world for pandemic response and management, consistently ranking high for government efficiency, quarantine system, healthcare management and vaccination rates.

"Surpassing the one million mark for positive Covid-19 cases reaffirms the UAE's future emergency preparedness network and continued social and economic prosperity," he said.

"Our people responded by acting together as one.

"As a result, the UAE consistently ranked as having one of the lowest infection and mortality rates of any country in the world, and that’s what it’s all about, protecting the health and well-being of our people."

Sheikh Sultan bin Tahnoon, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Frontline Heroes Office

Sheikh Sultan spoke about how those who were infected complied with isolation rules, further helping the UAE to manage its caseload.

"This week, the UAE is expected to exceed the 180 million PCR test mark and we are rapidly approaching 25 million Covid vaccines administered.

"These milestones speak directly to the high level of trust in government that exists across the country.

"Our leadership set out a clear path for protecting our people during the pandemic and moved quickly and efficiently to put in place massive infrastructure and deploy essential and well-trained front line professionals.

"All of these elements of the UAE response are also why as a nation we were able to achieve such incredible economic resilience throughout the pandemic, with recent reports showing the UAE economy is set to post its strongest annual expansion since 2011 after growing by 8.2 per cent in the first three months of 2022."

Frontline heroes

President Sheikh Khalifa in July 2020 launched the Frontline Heroes Office to recognise the efforts of people protecting the public in times of crisis.

The office aims to raise awareness of the key role played by the front line workers during crises and emergencies, while also looking after their needs, addressing their priorities and drawing up strategies to support them.

Sheikh Sultan said the creation of the Frontline Heroes Office was "one of the many legacies of our leadership’s work to help ensure the UAE is always protected by a world-class healthcare system as well as a robust, resilient and always-ready network of front line professionals".

"While the one million Covid-19 case mark itself is nothing to either fear or celebrate, there is so much behind it that speaks volumes about the UAE and our bright future together," he said.

"How we apply the critical experiences and learnings from this shared journey we’ve all been on in reaching these milestones will greatly affect our ability as a nation to ensure we are well-prepared for any future challenges."

Updated: August 12, 2022, 10:30 AM