The UAE has been handling COVID-19 very well - GulfToday

The UAE has been handling COVID-19 very well


The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

The coronavirus is showing no signs of letup. The global tally of virus cases has crossed 16 million now, more than half in the American hemisphere.

The United States on Saturday recorded 68,212 new coronavirus cases in the previous 24 hours. That has brought the total number of cases in the world’s hardest-hit country to 4,174,437.

Latin America and the Caribbean have recorded 4,328,915 cases and 182,501 dead followed by Europe on 3,052,108 cases and 207,734 dead. The World Health Organisation says more than a million cases haven     been recorded in each of the last five weeks, with over 280,000 being reported on July 24 alone.

The country with the highest number of deaths compared to its population is Belgium with 85 fatalities per 100,000 inhabitants, followed by Britain with 67, Spain 61, Italy 58, and Sweden 56.

Closer to home, Lebanon has reported the highest daily count of coronavirus cases with 175, bringing the total to more than 3,500.

Lebanese officials warn of a spike in infections following the easing of restrictions after the country’s only airport opened on July 1. Government officials have urged people to observe social distancing and wear masks.

But in many countries social distancing is not being observed properly. Many of Britain’s beaches, for instance, are crowded. Crowds are a factor even in such countries as India and Pakistan, where lack of social distancing has proved detrimental to health during coronavirus times.

Spain is particularly under the scanner. Nightclubs, bars and beaches in the country have turned into breeding grounds for coronavirus infections.

Authorities have ramped up restrictions in Barcelona. Britain has put Spain back on its unsafe list and announced on Saturday that travellers arriving in the UK  from Spain must now quarantine for 14 days. “Spain is a safe country,” Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya said. Not many seem to believe that now, at least the UK government.

The British decision over quarantining travellers from Spain has triggered anger and worry from several quarters.

Boris Johnson has admitted that his government could have handled the coronavirus crisis differently, as he said there were “open questions” over the timing of his decision to lock down the country.

The global pandemic was poorly understood in its early stages, the prime minister said.

 “This was something that was new, that we didn’t understand in the way that we would have liked in the first few weeks and months, and ... the single thing that we didn’t see at the beginning was the extent to which it was being transmitted asymptomatically from person to person,” he said in an interview with the BBC.

While Boris Johnson seems to show some change of heart in admitting mistakes over the pandemic, the leader who seems to be suffering from a virus of indifference is Donald Trump himself.  From the beginning he made clear that wearing masks was voluntary and shunned wearing one in public. He has frequently ridiculed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for wearing a mask in public.

This past week, as his poll ratings on the handling of the coronavirus went downwards, Trump on Monday tweeted a photo of himself wearing a mask and called it an act of patriotism.

The fact is that very few countries have stood out in their handling of the virus pandemic, the UAE being one of them.

The UAE is doing a great job of stemming the coronavirus, as so far, the total number of cases in the country has been far, far less than that in the United States.

What is heartening to note is that a lot of people are keen on taking part in the clinical trials for the vaccine. The Department of Health in Abu Dhabi has announced the registration of 5,000 volunteers for the third phase of clinical trials for inactivated COVID-19 vaccine in Abu Dhabi during the first 24 hours of activating the registration site

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