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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 6 March 2021

Coronavirus: UAE records 11th day of highest cases with 3,552 new infections

Active cases drop by about 400 as recoveries outstrip new infections

The UAE reported a record 3,552 cases of Covid-19 on Friday – the highest number of daily infections for the 11th consecutive day.

They were detected after another 170,694 tests were carried out across the country and brought the total number of cases to 270,810.

Another 3,945 patients recovered from the virus, taking the total number of people to have overcome Covid-19 in the UAE to 243,267.

Health authorities said 10 people died of related complications, raising the death toll to 776.

Almost 90 per cent of all cases have ended in recovery and 0.29 per cent resulted in a death. Authorities previously said the UAE had among the lowest Covid-19 death rates worldwide.

Part of this is a result of the country's early detection strategy that includes mass testing. Typically more than 150,000 DPI and PCR tests are conducted each day across the country to detect, isolate and treat patients as quickly as possible and prevent the virus from spreading. Regular testing is also required of many professionals in health care, the service industry and government to prevent outbreaks.

The number of people with a positive Covid-19 diagnosis is 26,767. Active cases dropped by about 400 from the day before as recoveries outstripped new infections for a third consecutive day.

Regulations were tightened across the country over the past month in response to the increase in case numbers.

Authorities said infections had increased after the winter break and with the detection of a more contagious variant of Covid-19 in the Emirates.

In Dubai, any non-essential surgery is suspended until February 19. The same decision was made last March to protect at-risk patients and release equipment, such as ventilators.

Hospital directors were asked to update a portal twice a day to tell Dubai Health Authority how many beds they have available.

Despite the recent increase in cases, private hospitals have not yet been asked to take Covid-19 patients.

Hotels and restaurants in Dubai were told to halt all live entertainment in their venues because of the surge in cases.

The directive from Dubai Tourism, which affects performances by DJs, dancers and bands, came after a rise in the number of breaches found during inspections.

Dubai Media Office said the decision was made to ensure “public health and safety” and that “all permits issued will be on hold effective immediately”.

Licensed premises are not required to close bars and restaurants – which were all shut during the first wave in April last year – but have sought further clarity from authorities.

This month, mandatory weekly testing was brought in for government workers who are not vaccinated to ensure their safety and also to encourage vaccination.

Three vaccines are available for use in the UAE, after Russia's Sputnik V was approved for emergency use on Thursday.

China's Sinopharm was authorised for public use on December 9 and, days later, Dubai approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the emirate.

Phase-3 clinical trials for Sinopharm and Sputnik were carried out in the UAE.

Sputnik V was developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology and Russia's Ministry of Health.

In the past 24 hours, 93,004 vaccine doses were administered to Emiratis and residents across the country.

The UAE has administered almost 2.34 million vaccine doses since it began its nationwide campaign. That equates to a vaccination distribution rate of 23.65 doses per 100 people.

The country aims to vaccinate 50 per cent of the population by the end of March.

Updated: January 31, 2021 08:03 PM

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