Compared to global rates of Covid-19, the UAE has been showing very high recovery and very low death rates.
According to statistics made available on the World O Meter, the Covid-19 death rate in the UAE is only 0.5 per cent of the total 2,659 infected.
Khaleej Times reached out to UAE doctors and medical experts who have attributed this phenomenon to the UAE’s high healthcare standards, the country’s predominant younger population, and residents’ compliance to the Stay at Home guidelines.
Dr Charles Stanford, a senior director at VPS healthcare, said there are many factors being considered for causing the death rate variation across the world.
“Truth be told, the complete data from all countries is not available at present and the causes will not be properly analysed until after the pandemic is over,” he explained.
‘UAE age structure plays a role’
However, Dr Standford said: “Although death occurs at all ages, there is a predominance of the elderly. The age structure in the UAE is completely different from most countries outside the GCC as there is a predominance of young expatriates here under work permits.”
He added: “Most (expatriates) will leave the country by the age of 60. There is therefore only 1.5 per cent of residents aged 65 or more. Compare this with a country like the UK where the equivalent number is 18.2 per cent.”
Dr Stanford explained if age is a factor then the current UAE Covid-19 death rate of 0.5 per cent adjusted to UK age would be 12 times more, that is, six per cent. “
Dr Jacob Cherian, specialist internal medicine, Medcare Medical Centre Marina and medical director for Medcare Medical Centres, attributed early intervention and intensive testing as one of the main reasons for the UAE’s faster recovery rates.
“Compared to other countries, the UAE adopted early intervention measures. The UAE closed schools and limited social gatherings when there were hardly any cases,” he said. Compliance from residents and a relatively younger and healthier population are other reasons for the lower death rates and high recovery rates, according to Dr Jacob.
In terms of treatment protocol, the Dubai Health Authority said the system only categorises a patient as completely cured of Covid-19 after three consecutive swab tests come back negatively. “Only then are they released from isolation,” said Dr Jacob.
“We are lucky in the UAE to have everyone covered for their healthcare and this healthcare is in a well-regulated system. From this point of view, it is possible that early management is leading to better results,” added Dr Stanford.
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