COVID-19: How UAE is handling the current crisis

drive-through screening center, covid-19 in uae, swab test
A Dubai Health Authority staff guides people at a coronavirus drive-through screening center at Al Nasr Club in Dubai.
Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE authorities, on Sunday, reiterated that transparency is and will be a fundamental pillar in dealing with the current COVID-19 crisis, and it is a firm and original approach in the era of UAE’s wise leadership. Seif Al-Dhaheri, a spokesperson for the National Authority for Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Management (NCEMA) in UAE, addressed UAE residents and citizens in a media briefing on Sunday.

Thanking the public, he said, “There are key factors when announcing any information, including reliable sources, accuracy of information and positive control to ensure not compromising the security and stability of society.” Speaking about the way in which UAE is handling the pandemic, Al Dhaheri said, “The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority has developed a distinctive monitoring and inspection methodology to ensure the application of all precautionary measures by forming 7 inspection teams, one in each emirate.” Police officials were the highest in terms of issuing fines for violations of rules, followed by municipality officials.

Al Dhaheri said there were 46 protocols in place to ensure the health and safety of the public during this time. He said, “Relevant authorities at the local level have intensified their control and inspection campaigns and issued violations against all individuals and institutions that have not complied with preventive measures.” He also added that Asians were found to be making the highest number of violations.

However, Al Dhaheri said, the increase in recorded violations do not represent an increase in coronavirus cases in the country. He added, “The UAE model in phenomenal crisis management is inspired by the guidance and follow up of our leadership to achieve success and increase the efficiency of our national resources to respond and proactively counter the spread of the virus.”

Al Dhaheri said, “We launched the #CommitToWin campaign with a national media strategy to address each individual and institution and call for their commitment in order to achieve success and ensure a safe return of activities and sectors.” He revealed that the campaign clocked over 2 billion impressions locally and regionally.

Speaking about the spread of unfounded rumours and fake news, Al Dhaheri said, “With crises rumours arise, and some few seek to achieve their goals that are misaligned with the unified national direction and compromise the security and stability of it’s society, and here the law must be applied firmly towards these people.”

NCEMA had prepared for the influenza season since July, Al Dhaheri said, adding that the authority had called for vaccination campaigns to ensure that the flu season doesn’t coincide with the coronavirus outbreak. He also said that in a survey, UAE public were satisfied to the tune of 96.3 per cent when it came to the handling of the pandemic by the UAE government. Other satisfaction polls on efficiency, transparency and trust in the government during the pandemic also registered upward of 90 per cent, according to NCEMA figures released on Sunday.

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