Coronavirus: UAE records 1,717 new infections and 1,960 recoveries

Another 237,479 tests were carried out in the past 24 hours

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The UAE reported 1,717 new cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, taking the overall tally of infections to 440,355.

There were 1,960 new recoveries, raising the number of patients who have beaten the virus to 422,696.

A further 237,479 tests were carried out over the past 24 hours. More than 35 million tests have been done since the first case was detected on January 29, 2020.

Another five patients died, increasing the number of fatalities to 1,438.

There are 16,221 active cases of Covid-19 in the country.

Health officials on Sunday said 117,712 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were given in the past 24 hours. So far, 7,298,768 vaccine doses have been administered.

The UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention has urged all Emiratis and eligible residents to book appointments to receive the coronavirus vaccine.

Authorities said they are now expanding the country's vaccination programme after prioritising at-risk groups for the past six weeks.

The expanded inoculation campaign will start from Sunday.

Eligible citizens and residents aged 16 and above can now be inoculated free of charge at any of the 205 vaccination locations nationwide, the health ministry said in a statement.

Officials urged those requesting a vaccine to book in advance. Vulnerable people without appointments will continue to receive priority at walk-in clinics.

As new cases drop in the country, hospitals and day surgical centres in Dubai have resumed all non-essential surgery.

Medics can accept patients for elective surgeries from Sunday, although they must abide by the authority's rules on bed occupancy rates.

Hospitals have to retain inpatient and ICU beds for Covid-19 patients wherever necessary.