Director General Al Qutami insists the increase in cases is normal and due to rigorous testing and screening.
The increase in the number of Covid-19 infections is not a matter of concern and the country’s healthcare system is well prepared for all emergency situations, Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, has said.
“The increase in the number of cases is normal. We are continuously carrying tests and as part of the policy of the UAE government, mass screening is conducted, especially in high-risk areas such as labour accommodations.” Al Qutami said during a virtual press briefing on Thursday.
On Thursday, UAE recorded 946 new infections, taking the total number of cases to 26,898.
Al Qutami said an analysis of the Covid-19 situation in the emirate shows that recovery rates are increasing and the infection, quarantine and hospitalisation rates are stable. Hospitalisation and ICU rates in Dubai are lower than global averages, he pointed out.
Cases that require ICU treatment or ventilators constitute only a tiny fraction of total infected cases. Most cases exhibit only mild symptoms.
Comprehensive follow-ups and extensive testing are being conducted for isolated and quarantined cases, he added.
After systematic monitoring of indicator trends, the DHA has found that Dubai’s healthcare sector, including the private and public sectors, have the capacity to meet requirements for quarantine and isolation. Al Qatami hoped that indicators in the next phase will be even more positive.
Responding to a query on whether DHA’s efforts to combat the outbreak compromises the delivery of its other health services, Al Qatami said consultation services in DHA healthcare facilities and private hospitals continue to be provided as normal.
Thousands of minor and major surgeries are continuing to be conducted in DHA facilities.
The pandemic has had no impact on DHA services, he stressed.
However, specific protocols have been established for receiving cases and transferring them to other hospitals in cooperation with public and private hospitals to address Covid-19 and other health problems without affecting services for patients.
Addressing the factors behind the spread of the virus, Al Qatami said that in the last few weeks, there was a rise in Covid-19 cases among Emiratis.
As we prepare to celebrate Eid, it is crucial that people adhere to social-distancing and precautionary measures to avoid a surge in cases, he stressed.
Speaking about the Golden Visas granted to doctors working on the frontlines, he said the gesture reflects the leadership’s recognition of their exceptional efforts to provide the highest level of care to patients.
He said DHA is working with other entities in Dubai to evaluate other groups to prepare a new list of candidates for recognition.
He added that the DHA has a number of smart applications that help improve medical services for both citiznes and residents.
“The ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’ initiative of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) offers residents 24/7 consultations with doctors regarding Covid-19 concerns via video and voice calls. Its Dawaee app facilitates delivery of medicines to segments of the community that cannot visit hospitals. “DHA’s apps reduce the need for people to go to hospitals without compromising on the quality of services they receive,” he said.
Al Qutami also called upon all residents to abide by precautionary measures during Eid and avoid gatherings.
“The happiness of Eid is that we celebrate but we celebrate by committing to compliance of precautionary measure to ensure our health and that of our friends and families.”
Anjana Sankar is a journalist by profession and a humanist by passion. Her cluttered desk is not indicative of her state of mind.
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