The emirate of Abu Dhabi has passed an important milestone is combating the coronavirus pandemic, with a dramatic drop in new Covid-19 infections.
The Abu Dhabi Emergency Crisis and Disasters Committee released figures that prove the policy of widespread screening and rigorous preventative measures is working to limit the spread of the virus.
In the city of Abu Dhabi, only 0.3 percent of those tested — or three new cases per 1,000 tests — were shown to be infected with Covid-19. The figure in June was 1 per cent, or ten per 1,000 tests. Below 1 percent is regarded as a significant marker in combating the virus. In Al Dhafra region, only four people per 1,000 tested positive while in Al Ain, the figure was six per 1,000 tested.
Abu Dhabi took the step of conducting house-to-house testing, using medical staff and volunteers overseen by Al Mersad, a special patrol unit. The initiative targeted densely populated districts and offered free on-the-spot Covid-19 tests to residents. So far, Tourist Club/Zakiyah, Khalidiya, Al Najda, Al Zafaranah and parts of the Corniche neighborhoods have been covered.
The program has reached people who might not otherwise have taken the test for various reasons, offered reassurance to those who tested negative and ensures that those who test positive know what to do in order not to spread the virus.
Authorities are determined to continue with the program and the figures show that it is working. This week, it is the residents of Mohammed bin Zayed City who should expect to get a knock on the door.
“We will continue and fight till the end, until we reach zero cases,” said Mansoor Al Qubaisi, an official from Seha, Abu Dhabi’s public hospitals operator. “Everything is running smoothly and almost everybody we visit agrees to get tested.
“Who wouldn’t want to check their status under those circumstances? The service arrives at your door and is free of charge.”
Abu Dhabi’s insistence that everyone wanting to enter the emirate must present a negative Covid test has also helped to sharply reduce the number of new cases.
In the UAE as a whole, recoveries are outstripping the number of infections, while the number of infections is falling gradually but surely. On Tuesday, August 4, UAE health authorities reported 189 new cases of coronavirus and 227 recoveries. On the day before, Monday, August 3, there were 164 new coronavirus cases and 248 recoveries. The Monday tally was the lowest since April 1.
The total number of cases in the country stands at 61,352 with 55,090 recoveries.
Anna Pukas has reported from all over the world as a foreign correspondent for British media. She is now an editor based in Abu Dhabi.