Highly contagious Delta variant accounts for one in three UAE cases

Officials said the number of deaths had increased and this was attributable to the spread of mutations, among other factors

About one in three Covid-19 cases in the UAE is of the highly infectious Delta variant, UAE authorities said on Sunday.

Officials said the number of deaths in the country had increased and this was attributable to the spread of mutations, not following rules and failing to take a vaccine.

The figure was released during a special Covid-19 briefing on Sunday, when authorities stressed the importance of taking both shots to ensure full protection.

And new statistics provided in the briefing were a testament to the important of vaccination.

Most deaths occurred in those unvaccinated – 94 per cent – while the percentage in those immunised was just six, the briefing heard.

Most cases – 84 per cent – affect those unvaccinated, while the percentage of people admitted to hospital who had not been immunised was 89 per cent.

These rates are also evident in cases admitted to intensive care, where non-vaccinated people account for 92 per cent of cases, the briefing heard.

The most common strain found in the UAE is the Beta strain – 39.2 per cent – followed by Delta at 33.9 per cent and lastly Alpha with 11.3 per cent.

Data received from some countries show the risk of hospital admission doubles after infection with the Delta variant compared with Alpha, especially in those with underlying health conditions.

It also heard the UAE has provided a Covid-19 vaccine to more than 71 per cent of the total population, which represents 91.8 per cent of the eligible category.

Officials also addressed taking another regimen of a different vaccine, but said people must consult their doctors.

The briefing was led by Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE health sector.

It was also confirmed that Al Hosn was working as normal. The smartphone app tracks vaccination status, Covid-19 results and whether or not a PCR test is still valid.

“It is currently working efficiently and effectively as usual and all users can get the results of the PCR nasal swab, DPI laser blood test and vaccination status through the application,” the National Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (Ncema) posted on Twitter. The Ncema account posts key elements of the briefing on its social media pages.

The briefing also heard that health officials advise against overseas travel if you are not vaccinated.

It urged people to follow rules in the country of destination if going abroad.

Mass testing and one of the world’s fastest vaccination drives have helped the UAE curb the spread of the coronavirus.

Cases have increased to more than 2,000 but are down from close to 4,000 in January.

Authorities have administered more than 15 million vaccine doses and conducted about 56.65m tests.

On Thursday, Abu Dhabi announced it had immunised all public bus drivers and more than 80 per cent of taxi drivers.

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