Residents reminded to follow all safety rules as ‘they will help restore normalcy’.
The daily Covid-19 cases in the UAE dipped below 2,000 for the first time in more than two months on Sunday.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention reported 1,992 new cases on March 14. The last time the country had seen cases below the 2,000 mark was on January 5, when 1,967 new cases were reported.
It crossed the 3,000 mark on January 12 (3,243 cases) and almost hit 4,000 on January 27 (3,939); January 28 (3,966); and January 29 (3,962). Last week, the authorities acknowledged that the UAE saw a gradual decrease in the infection rates as vaccination peaks.
“A positive sign and a step to recovery and resuming normal life, which the cooperation and commitment of all can achieve,” the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) had said.
Medical professionals call this occurrence a “significant achievement”, saying a massive vaccination drive is the primary reason for the numbers to drop. While the UAE is yet to achieve herd immunity, it is well on its way to reaching that goal.
“I cannot say for certain if the UAE has achieved herd immunity yet, but we are heading in the right direction,” said Dr Amaka Kate Uzu, consultant, family medicine, at Bareen International Hospital, MBZ City.
The UAE has offered more than 6.5 million Covid-19 vaccine doses to date, and the country remains poised to reach its ambitious target of vaccinating 50 per cent of the population soon.
Over the past several weeks, the vaccination drive has been progressing steadily while prioritising the vulnerable categories. According to the Our World in Data website stats, the UAE continues to be the second best globally in terms of the cumulative doses administered per 100 people.
Dr Ponnusamy Tamilvendan, a specialist in internal medicine at the Medeor Hospital in Dubai, said: “The drop in the number of Covid-19 positive cases in the UAE after a surge is a significant achievement. The government’s massive efforts have lowered the number of daily positive cases reported in the country. Vaccination has been key to this achievement.” He said the initiative led by the government is an example worth emulating for other countries.
“Vaccines help build immunity among the people against the virus and thus protect them from getting infected. People who have taken two doses of the vaccine are largely protected except for a very few who might get infected,” he explained.
“Even in this case, vaccinated people are likely to recover faster and are mostly asymptomatic or suffer from mild symptoms. This not only avoids the risk of losing life to the deadly virus but also reduces the burden on the healthcare ecosystem,” explained Dr Tamilvedan.
“It is a great relief to see the numbers of Covid-19 cases gradually dropping. This, I believe, results from a mass vaccination programme that the UAE government had initiated since late last year. In addition to this, the general public has done well in adhering to safety precautions,” Dr Uzu said.
Both doctors have warned that the public should continue to follow the general health and safety precautions as this will ensure a return to normalcy shortly.
“The strategies adopted by the government are effective and started reflecting its results by bringing the number of cases and mortality down. The lowering of the curve is a positive sign and reflects that our efforts to contain the virus have been right,” said Dr Tamilvedan.