Greater public awareness, reduced Covid vaccine-hesitancy, and a surge in RT-PCR screenings have led to a near 25 per cent dip in the number of new infections this month compared to June, medical experts said.
After caseloads hit a two-month-high of more than 60,000 in June, it was feared that with the detection of the contagious Delta variant, the number of positive cases would go up. However, an efficient strategy and measured response from the public helped contain the situation.
And the average daily cases dropped from 2,000 in June to 1,500 so far this month. On the fourth day after Eid Al Adha public holidays, 1,527 cases were reported on Wednesday, July 28, a month after the authorities announced about the Delta strain.
Dr Somansu Basu, specialist microbiologist and chairman of infection control, NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Ain, noted that a “significant decline” in cases is because of the stringent precautionary measures.
“The combined effort of the health authorities and the public adhering to the measures are the core reasons to control the spread. The well-monitored vaccination programme and availability of a variety of vaccines to choose from has not only contributed to the reduction in the number of cases, but has reduced the severity of the infection.”
Dr Ponnusamy Tamilvendan, specialist internal medicine, Medeor Hospital, Dubai, underlined that the authorities having a “flexible strategy” to adapt to evolving situations has enabled the UAE march on the path to recovery. “The sharp dip in cases since June can be attributed to various reasons, including the public adherence to safety measures. Awareness campaigns have ensured people take precautionary measures seriously. The national drive has been an effective tool in this fight. The steep dip in the number of new cases could be an indicator of the benefit of the robust vaccination drive.”
Dr Tamilvendan said public awareness campaigns have boosted people’s willingness to get vaccinated. “Vaccine hesitancy seems to have reduced with many people now coming forward to take their shots.”
Dr Mohammed Arif, internal medicine (specialist), Aster Hospital, Mankhool, stressed on the travel restrictions in place amid holidays, as another factor for the plunge in the number of cases.
“Travel restriction plays a big part for the reduction in cases. Banning flights from several countries and having strict travel guidelines reduced the cases during the festival month. The new guidelines on travel from Dubai to Abu Dhabi, and vice-versa, has also contributed significantly to reducing infection and spread.”
Doctors pointed out that the number of screenings and vaccine seekers surged in the past few weeks.
Dr Basu said: “The RT-PCR tests ever since the emergence of the Delta virus have increased. The increase in the testing and systematic isolation and quarantine protocols has helped to regulate the spread. NMC Specialty Hospital in Al Ain averaged 1,454 Covid-19 tests per day in May. In June and July, till date, the testing average has crossed 1,750 every day.”
Dr Tamilvendan added: “With the increase in tourism and economic activities, there seems to be a return to normalcy. However, the pandemic is not over yet and we, as a community, must continue to remain vigilant in order to reduce transmission.”
<!–Article Script start