If declining number of Covid-19 cases in the past couple of weeks are an indication, the UAE seems to have turned the corner on the Omicron era of pandemic. For the first time in eight weeks, which included a period of public holidays, the caseloads have dropped below 1,000. The Ministry of Health and Prevention on Friday announced 998 new positive cases of Covid-19 after conducting 244,993 PCR tests. The three-figure mark is the lowest since June 9, when 1,031 cases were announced. Frontline doctors told Khaleej Times that the trend seen in the UAE has a similar trajectory witnessed worldwide. The WHO’s Covid-19 Weekly Epidemiological Update noted that, globally, the number of cases decreased by nine per cent between July 25 and 31, as compared to the previous week.
Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonologist at Medeor Hospital, Dubai, said: “Globally, the most recent surge in cases caused by Omicron sub variants has been declining at a rapid phase. Unlike the dip in the number of cases in the past, the current phase is more pronounced. We are seeing positive developments in the UAE. This trend can be attributed to the success of Covid-19 protocols focused on vaccination and screenings. The number of new cases is poised to slide further across the country.” The UAE, nearing the 1-million cases milestone, last recorded a three-digit mark of infections (867) on June 8, hit 1,031 the next day and soared to 1,812 by July 3 before dropping. Specialists attributed the sharp uptick in cases to the summer travel season starting from June and consistent fall in the past few weeks to the effectiveness of vaccination campaigns.
Testing is effective strategy
In its report, the WHO pointed out that the current global trends in reported cases and deaths should be interpreted with caution as several countries have been progressively changing Covid-19 testing strategies, resulting in lower overall numbers of tests performed and, consequently, lower numbers of cases detected. However, Dr Sainalabdeen highlighted that the UAE has been carrying on its screening service ensuring effective management of the pandemic.
“Currently, the UAE continues to conduct an average of 200,000 PCR tests, which is a remarkable feat in the third year of Covid-19. This strategy of testing to detect infected people and isolating them to prevent transmission has led to a reduced number of infections. The UAE has managed to decrease mortality of Covid-19 patients,” Dr Sainalabdeen said.
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