In early December when South African doctors first reported a new strain of coronavirus spreading very quickly there, researchers and governments the world over feared that Omicron might overwhelm medical services already strained by almost two years of fighting the virus, commented a local daily.
Acting swiftly and based on painful experiences from other waves of the virus during this pandemic, restrictive measures were imposed to try and prevent Omicron from doing its worst, Gulf News wrote in its editorial.
Now after two months, "reality is that the new variant does not seem as severe as initially thought, and while it is far more contagious that other previous variants of Covid-19, those without vaccination are most at risk from its worst effects.
"Now, many of the restrictions brought in to fight Omicron are being rolled back and there is a general acceptance that the worst of this pandemic might indeed be finally behind us," the paper added.
However, the paper said, "vaccines, as always, remain the best possible measures in resolving this unprecedented pubic heal and medical emergency. It took almost a year for researchers to develop, test and roll-out vaccines.
"Here in the UAE, the uptake of vaccinations has been remarkable. According to the latest global data, the UAE leads the world in vaccination rates statistics that underscore the determination of this nation to defeat coronavirus and turn back this emergency." According to the Pandemic Resilience Index for 2022 and data collected by the Consumer Choice Centre, the UAE improved from second best to top the rankings reflecting the effectiveness of measures brought in by our public health officials.
This data also looks at testing, a critical component in effectively fighting back against coronavirus. "The UAE is highly effective at testing, its public health measures are equally effective. This strategy, along with getting as many jabs as possible to maximum number of people, means the UAE is the most effective nation globally in combating the virus.
"Vaccinations were and are always going to be the best way out of this pandemic. Given the success of the UAE’s vaccination programme and its testing regimen, all the components together place this nation on a very sound footing moving forward.
"With the threat of Omicron receding and an expectation that new variants of Covid-19 may not be as deadly as the initial waves, there is hope that the pandemic could be reaching its endgame," the Dubai-based English language newspaper concluded.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2022.