Emirates to screen two million people soon to control spread of coronavirus

As part of the Arab country's major efforts to tackle the current health crisis
Amna al-Dahnak al-Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE Government

PHOTO/WAM  -   Amna al-Dahnak al-Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE Government

The Government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is considering assessing 20% of the population in the next two months as part of its efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19 due to the health crisis. 

Amna al-Dahnak al-Shamsi, an official spokesperson for the UAE executive, said authorities plan to screen two million people (about 20% of the population) over the next two months to contain the pathogen after the relaxation of general isolation measures that were imposed to tackle the pandemic. 

Amna al-Dahnak al-Shamsi herself provided information on the update of COVID-19 sufferers and on the work done to address the health problem, which has so far left 326 dead and around 52,600 cases diagnosed in the Gulf country. The official spokesperson noted that there have already been more than 40,000 recoveries nationwide, with more than 11,000 patients still being treated in medical centers to date. 

Al-Dahhak stressed that increased testing in the UAE for the purpose of early detection and treatment was essential in the fight against the coronavirus and also noted that increased testing in turn leads to an increase in detected cases. The government spokeswoman announced the declared intention of the Ministry of Health and Prevention, in collaboration with all the country's health institutions, to carry out more than two million tests for COVID-19 over the next two months. The Ministry will complete these tests to ensure the evaluation of a large part of society, including those working in public functions for the private and government sectors, as well as public transport drivers, taxi drivers, hotel workers and retail workers, as well as employees of public agencies. 

Un trabajador de laboratorio maneja una muestra biológica en un centro de pruebas de coronavirus COVID-19 en el distrito de Al-Khawaneej del emirato de Dubái
AFP/KARIM SAHIB - A laboratory worker handles a biological sample at a COVID-19 coronavirus testing centre in the Al-Khawaneej district of the emirate of Dubai

The goal of intensifying medical surveys is to ensure the health and safety of all members of society, and to ensure that people are free of coronaviruses. Those who test positive will be isolated and receive medical treatment. 

Al-Dahhak revealed that the number of cases had increased slightly over the past weekend, as opposed to the previous two weeks. He stressed that this growth is a reason to be vigilant and is due to the negligence of some people who refuse to comply with preventive measures and guidelines. "Any increase is dangerous, as it could undo the collective efforts and successes that have been achieved so far," said the Emirati state representative, in statements collected by the official news agency WAM.

Al-Dahhak said that all those who violate the measures dictated risk their own health and that of the rest of the community; furthermore, they expose themselves to legal action and fines from the state.

The government spokesperson called on all members of society to comply fully with the instructions issued by the authorities, stressing that commitment is necessary and indispensable in the current period, especially with the reopening of various economic and commercial activities. Al-Dahhak said that the current stage in the fight against the pandemic has only been reached due to the "enormous and unwavering efforts" made by government institutions and public and health system workers. 

Un miembro del personal médico se prepara para tomar una muestra de hisopo de un hombre dentro de un vehículo en un centro de pruebas de la COVID-19 en el distrito de Al-Khawaneej del emirato de Dubái
AFP/KARIM SAHIB - A medical staff member prepares to take a swab sample from a man inside a vehicle at a COVID-19 test centre in Al-Khawaneej district of the emirate of Dubai

Amna al-Dahhak said the UAE government is constantly assessing health conditions locally and globally to determine the procedures to be followed. She again stressed to all members of society the importance of following the procedures and instructions, as progress will only be made with the cooperation of all.

This is all part of the great work that the Emirates has been doing both internally and externally to contain the coronavirus pandemic and prevent further casualties. Internally, the UAE is notable for the large number of screening tests already conducted on its population and scheduled for later, and for the availability of technological advances to accelerate and refine this testing process, in cooperation with major innovative companies. The Arab country also stands out for the provision of large medical care centres, including major developments such as the field hospital at the World Trade Center in Dubai. 

On the international level, the Emirates is known for being at the forefront of humanitarian aid to fight the coronavirus. The Arab country has distributed medical and food supplies to more than 70 countries worldwide, an assistance that has already supported more than one million medical professionals around the globe.