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Covid-19 and the UAE towards the second wave

Publication date: 13.11.2020
Author: Institute of Public Health

The WEQAYA Platform is charged with ensuring the health and safety of every individual in the United Arab Emirates, as well as keeping the public updated with the latest news regarding health issues inside and outside the country. On 5 October it launched a COVID-19 second wave awareness campaign: #BreakTheWave

Covid-19 and the UAE towards the second wave

Covid-19 had posed as a big challenge for countries on economic and healthcare fronts. Many nations have been able to control the coronavirus infection spread through their relentless efforts. But the United Arab Emirates has been quite successful in controlling the infection spread through the commendable leadership, efforts by organizations and experts and the sincere following of preventive and precautionary measures by the people of the Emirates. The scientists are now predicting a second wave of coronavirus.

Second wave, whether it will come or not, and whenever it will come, UAE has been preparing tirelessly for it and it would be safe to say that the country is prepared to face the wave head-on, thanks to the inspiring leadership of the Emirates.

Understanding the entity of a Second Wave

Pandemics are known to have multiple waves before they eventually die down. Second wave of pandemic is not defined very clearly. Second wave is the phase when it might seem that number of cases are under control, but then a new wave of positive cases comes in a different group of population or a new region.

So, is the second wave of coronavirus really coming? Talking figuratively, it appears to be. The recent numbers indicate that Coronavirus pandemic is coming back in full swing and with retribution. This is a bad sign. Second wave is always more dreadful than the first one, especially economically.

The United Arab Emirates – strength is the healthcare system

The UAE’s healthcare system has proved its strength during the opposing times and global crisis of Covid-19 pandemic and risen to the expectations of people of community. The healthcare structure in the Emirates worked in line with the standards set by the leadership. The United Arab Emirates has provided repetitive models of healthcare system in fight against the coronavirus since the beginning of the pandemic. The country has followed all the precautionary measures based on the guidelines by World Health Organization, such as social distancing, and handwashing. These measures have been effective in controlling the spread of infection. Furthermore, widespread testing and contact tracing has also helped keep a check on the cases tally. Hospitals and healthcare facilities across the UAE have been following proper guidelines and protocol for the coronavirus.

The establishment of field hospitals and dedicated COVID-19 wards have been one of the ground-breaking steps taken by the leadership and healthcare authorities in the country.

Recently the UAE’s Ministry of Interiors have launched K-9 sniffer dogs for rapid detection of positive cases of Covid-19. A simple test of suspected cases’ armpit sweat sample can be detected by the sniffer dogs for positive cases. This revolutionary technique is especially useful at airports with a large group of people are to be tested in short span of time.

National Sterilization Program was another successful initiative by the leadership to maintain hygiene and sterilization. Laboratories network under the Ministry of Health and Community Protection is the largest in world in relation to international quality adoption, which is ISO 15189. This has further strengthened UAE’s global standing in healthcare domain by conducting highest number of tests for Covid-19.

ADSCC (Abu Dhabi Stem Cells Centre) has also been working on UAECell19, a breakthrough treatment for Covid-19. Furthermore, the country is leading in its work on Covid-19 vaccine trials. Phase 3 trials are underway for Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine.

The strength of UAE’s healthcare system lies in two foundational pillars – the powerful and inspiring leadership and the drive-in communities to follow all the preventive and precautionary measures put in place to combat Covid-19 pandemic spread.

How UAE is preparing for the second wave

Since the pandemic began, Emirates was working on creating a safe ground for such future crisis. The Ministries have prepared to secure food supply for any unforeseen food shortage. UAE has been working on cultivating own food and fisheries by recycling of water and growing crops at multiple levels in indoor farms.

Telemedicine has also been adopted by UAE at a wide scale through use of technology assisted applications. This model has successfully reduced the waiting time in medical offices and has also reduced the number of visiting patients. This has successfully relaxed the healthcare system in the country for better preparedness to positive Covid-19 cases.

Educating and empowering the people of the country has been the key to UAE’s successful fight against coronavirus pandemic and continues to be. A national education platform has been launched by the government which has an information center for Covid-19 with slogan “Your health is our duty.” The platform is to keep the citizens and residents updated and aware of the right information and precautions to be taken.

Weqaya program, launched by the National Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, is an online tool aimed at prioritizing the health and well-being of people of the Emirates. This platform is instrumental in spreading awareness among people regarding public health, preventive and precautionary measures regarding Covid-19 and keeps the citizens and residents updated on the new developments in the country on a daily basis. The online platform also can be used to contact the authorities for any query. The tool also provides medical advice to the people regarding Covid-19 and can be used to access personal health information following Weqaya screening.

Role of the residents and citizens during Coronavirus second wave

Any country can successfully face and tackle any healthcare crisis if the leadership is strong enough to lead by example and if the people are aware of their responsibility and follow the guidelines and protocols properly.

It is not always that a second chance is offered, but when it is then one must ensure that old mistakes aren’t repeated. Smart are the people who learn from the lost chances and don’t repeat the mistakes.

The leadership has urged the people of the Emirates to continue to follow all the preventive and precautionary measures that have been put in place by the designated organizations for curbing the spread of Covid-19. The people have been requested to continue maintaining physical distancing, washing hands frequently, wearing masks, and sanitizing their hands. Eating healthy food and following health habits are also advised. Though public places have been slowly reopened and malls and financial centers have resumed their operations, public has been urged to continue following mandatory guidelines and standard operating procedures.

Collaborative efforts by the communities and organizations can successfully tackle the second wave and emerge with no or least impact. Simple measures and awareness are the key to handle the looming Covid-19 second wave of infection.

That is why Weqaya is here launching the second wave awareness campaign, to educate people and eventually avoid the wave.

#BreakTheWave #StopTheWave

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