UAE: Doctors urge people not to let their guard down

Published on May 16 2021

Despite an encouraging trend of declining new Covid-19 caseloads and more than 72 per cent of the population vaccinated, frontline doctors urge people not to let their guards down and continue wearing masks and taking precautionary measures.

On Saturday, the UAE reported 1,321 new cases - the lowest ever so far this year. And since April there has been a constant slide in the recorded infections. Also, till date nearly 11.5 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered.

Separately, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its updated guidelines advised that fully-vaccinated people need not wear masks or follow safe-distancing while outdoors and indoors.

However, medical experts in the UAE, alarmed by the deadly variant of the Indian virus, have stressed that community members must remain cautious.

Urging everyone to take the jab, Dr Abner Rivas Abejo, specialist internal medicine, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, underlined there must be no letup in health and safety measures.

"The US CDC may have its own reasons to relax mask guidance for the vaccinated population. However, the health authorities in the UAE maintain that even vaccinated individuals can get infected, but are less likely to develop severe disease leading to hospitalisation. I believe we should still continue the protocols that have made the UAE safe and the measures that have prevented the UAE healthcare system from being overwhelmed and affecting the economy."

Dr Abejo underlined that community members must continue wear masks, sanitise hands and maintain physical distancing.

"Moreover, with the new variant of the virus on a rampage across India, we should not be taking any chances. This is not a time for any experiments. Instead, we must be focusing on raising awareness about the need for taking precautionary measures."

Apart from the vaccination drive, the screening campaign has been successfully held across the country. On Saturday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced conducting 161,182 additional Covid-19 tests over the past 24 hours.

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