The risk of infection is high, particularly in closed spaces.
Doctors have appealed to residents to not lower their guards as the UAE on Wednesday reported 1,431 new Covid-19 cases – its highest ever. It was the second consecutive day that the country recorded its highest single-day cases.
Referring to how residents have started becoming complacent, Dr Abhilash Ramachandran Nair, an internal medicine specialist at Aster Hospital, Qusais, said: “When people go to restaurants, many take off their masks while waiting for their food to arrive. Arriving at dining outlets almost becomes an excuse for people to lower their masks and start talking.”
He explained that the risk of infection is high, particularly in closed spaces.
Doctors said that a “considerable number of people” are just not willing to accept the fact that this “pandemic is much more than a common flu” and that the consequences of ignoring it can be serious.
Dr Rahul Mathur, specialist internal medicine, Prime Medical Centre, Al Nahda, Sharjah, said: “Initially, there was a lot of fear and panic, and residents would avoid social gatherings. But that initial pandemic fear has receded … Earlier, some people wore (two) … masks, now they don’t shy away from lowering their masks. There is a kind of overconfidence in people. It seems some people think that the strain of virus has weakened, but (the fact is) that the treatment part has become more robust.”
Healthcare givers stressed that in the absence of a vaccine, masks play a vital role in curbing the spread of the virus. Dr Mathur added: “Treat your mask as a vaccine.”
Dr Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonologist and respiratory medicine at Medeor Hospital Dubai, said many people are not following Covid safety measures. “They don’t realise that the best vaccine is the face mask. They must use it properly. Another appeal is please minimise social gatherings.”
Doctors have warned about a ‘pandemic fatigue’ that seems to have set in as residents lower their guards.
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