COVID-19 in UAE: April records lowest cases this year so far

Experts attribute dip to vaccination campaign and screening drive across country

A medical worker wearing a protective suit and face shield carries out tests at the Biogenix Laboratories, which performs COVID-19 detection tests, in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 6, 2020.

A medical worker wearing a protective suit and face shield carries out tests at the Biogenix Laboratories, which performs COVID-19 detection tests, in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, October 6, 2020.

REUTERS/ Khushnum Bhandari

The first half of April has recorded the lowest number of Covid-19 cases this year and the most number of days with under 2,000 infected people. 

The first 14 days of April till Wednesday have seen 28,051 new cases, which is much lower than registered in the same period of January (35,147), February (45,163) and March (34,873).

Also, there are seven days this month with under 2,000 cases – the most so far this year – April 6 (1,988), April 7 (1,883), April 9 (1,875) April 10 (1,931), April 11 (1,810), April 12 (1,928) and April 14 (1,798). The year started with five days of below-2,000 cases, but this was bettered in the fourth month.

Medical experts noted the sudden dip in the new cases is a result of the momentum in the nationwide vaccination campaign and the ongoing screening drive across the country.

“The number of cases in the UAE is steadily falling down because of an effective vaccination programme since December 2020 by the UAE government. The efficient and time-bound policies for PCR testing put forth by the regulatory bodies has helped in the early detection and isolation of positive cases, thus preventing any further spread of the virus. The regular and consistent communication from the health authorities on public safety and awareness is yet another reason that has resulted in decline of cases,” said Dr Dilip Kumar, specialist internal medicine, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain.

For the record, overall data of January (95,787), February (87,915) and March (69,920) suggests that the post-Christmas and New Year Eve parties led to a ballooning of cases from 35,000 in mid-January to nearly triple by the end of the month.

With rising cases in the past months, the local and health authorities have deployed an array of stringent measures to get things under control. And now doctors are urging residents not to undo gains made so far over the next few weeks of Ramadan.

“With the advent of Ramadan, the cases might spike if the general public does not adhere to any safety or precautionary measures. It becomes the duty of every citizen and resident to be highly responsible. People must avoid large public gatherings, avoid conducting large Iftar gatherings, sharing of food with friends, family and relatives also must be avoided. Safety guidelines while visiting a mosque for prayers must be followed. Being responsible during Ramadan reflects our obligation towards the safety of the community, most importantly the aged and people with co-morbid conditions,” added Dr Kumar.

Doctors have also called on non-Muslims to make healthy use of the daily additional free time on account of revised office hours during Ramadan.

Dr Amaka Kate Uzu, consultant, family medicine, at Bareen International Hospital in Mohamed Bin Zayed City noted: “Non-Muslims who are not fasting should be respectful of the month and be mindful of precautions they should adhere to. Many non-Muslims will be working reduced hours and we encourage them to use the time productively to engage in activities that will boost their health and well-being, while taking precautions. Yoga, cycling, swimming, running are recommended exercises. Avoid large gatherings, maintain social distance, wear masks and practice hand hygiene measures always. By doing this we will all have a safe and healthy holy month, progressing towards the end of the pandemic.”

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