Coronavirus: UAE reports 3,939 new Covid-19 cases as 4,536 recover

Active cases at 24,545 after recoveries exceed new infections for the eighth consecutive day

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Reporter: N/A. News. Covid-19/Coronavirus. A man walks passed a sign for an offer on face masks in Bur Dubai. Sunday, January 3rd, 2021. Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE reported 3,939 new cases of Covid-19 on Wednesday, raising the total infection number to 289,086.

Recoveries far exceeded new infections, with 4,536 people cleared of Covid-19.

This brought the total number of recoveries to 263,730.

It was the eighth consecutive day that recoveries outstripped new cases, with a new record recovery figure set.

Six people died of related complications, taking the death toll to 811.

Wednesday's cases were detected after another 174,016 tests were conducted across the country.

The UAE has carried out more than 25 million PCR and DPI tests since the outbreak.

Active cases stand at 24,545.

The country has intensified its vaccination campaign and aims to reach 50 per cent of the population by the end of March.

On Wednesday, authorities said 86,770 more vaccine doses were administered across the country. A total of 2.76m doses have been administered since the vaccine drive began last month. This is the equivalent of 27.95 per 100 people.

Vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinopharm are being administered while Russia's Sputnik V is approved for emergency use. Their use brings hope the pandemic could be ending.

But health authorities said people will probably need an annual Covid-19 vaccine. Although the virus does not mutate as quickly as the common flu, the emergence of variants that can evade antibodies suggests repeated vaccination may be required to fight different strains, experts said.

“The more mutant the virus, the more is the possible need to vaccinate annually against it,” said Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE’s government health authorities. It is envisaged that the Covid vaccine could become as common as the annual flu shot.