UAE Covid-19 vaccine drive crosses 80 per cent threshold

Authorities say almost 82 per cent of the total eligible population has now been reached

The UAE's vaccine drive has now reached more than 80 per cent of the eligible population.

The weekly Covid-19 briefing on Tuesday heard how the country had now crossed the crucial threshold.

Authorities said that "81.93 per cent of the total eligible category – people over 16 – have been vaccinated", officials said.

Almost 93 per cent of the population aged over 60 – who are more vulnerable to the virus – have been inoculated.

The briefing also heard that education authorities have implemented a number of safety rules ahead of final year exams.

Twelfth grade pupils in schools that follow the Ministry of Education's curriculum will sit exams this month.

Officials told the briefing that stringent safety guidelines should ensure the success of the exams.

Pupils must present negative Covid-19 PCR tests, while a host of other safety rules are in place, they said.

Candidates are urged to arrive at school no earlier than 30 minutes before an exam starts, while mixing with other parents and pupils should be avoided, said officials.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the state health sector, said the UAE was among the first countries to vaccinate the 12 to 15 age group against Covid-19 and that more vaccines for children could be expected.

"In the interest of the safety of our children, it is expected that more vaccines will be provided for children in the coming period," Dr Al Hosani said.

"[This will follow] the completion of clinical trials."

Dr Al Hosani also pointed to the recent introduction of sotrovimab-vir – a new drug that can help to save the lives of patients seriously ill with coronavirus.

She said this underlined how the UAE is curbing the pandemic through vaccination, testing, rules and treatment.

"Sotrovimab-vir is for the treatment of the disease and is not a substitute for the vaccine," she said.

Meanwhile, the UAE recorded 1,968 new cases of Covid-19 on Tuesday.

The new infections brought the country's total since the pandemic began to 572,804.

Another 1,954 people beat the virus, taking the total recoveries to 552,479. Four more people died, bringing the death toll to 1,684.

The figures come after 215,689 more tests were carried out. There are 18,641 active cases in the UAE.

Cases reached a one-month high on Friday but have fallen back since.

Updated: June 1, 2021 08:34 PM

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