Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 24 November 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: Leadership the key to fighting pandemic in the UAE, 'The Lancet' says

Medical journal backs willingness to listen to the science and adapt quickly

The UAE has adopted a mass screening strategy in order to limit the spread of Covid-19. Victor Besa/The National
The UAE has adopted a mass screening strategy in order to limit the spread of Covid-19. Victor Besa/The National

Listening to the science and a willingness to adapt quickly are reasons behind the UAE’s success in combating Covid-19, the editor of a leading medical journal said.

An ability to test half the population and pivot towards changing guidance to best tackle the pandemic were hailed as major breakthroughs in fighting the disease by Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet.

“This comes down to a political leadership that is sensitive to the science and that is attuned to the risks,” he said in an interview with CNN.

“Clearly the political leadership were listening to the science and were able to pivot very quickly to protect its citizens.

“The US is the science superpower of the world but the connection between science and government is almost non-existent.

“The culture makes it almost impossible for the country to mount a response. It is a genuine national crisis.”

So far, nationwide testing centres in the UAE with resulting track and trace technology, travel restrictions and compulsory facemarks have limited deaths to just 351.

Accessibility to PCR tests via nasal swabs at border crossings and airports have resulted in relatively few active cases when compared with elsewhere in the world.

As of Friday, July 31 there were 6,246 active cases of Covid-19 while 53,909 people have now recovered from the disease.

Updated: July 31, 2020 03:39 PM

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