Mass testing, government support keep Covid-19 death rate low in UAE: Doctors

 khaleejtimes.com  07/15/2020 22:01:00  3  Saman Haziq/Dubai
Mass testing, government support, Covid-19, low death, UAE, Doctors

(Photo by Shihab/Khaleej Times)

The UAE on Wednesday, July 15, declared that not a single Covid-19 death was reported across the emirates in 24 hours, an update that sent a wave of hope among residents amid the pandemic. Health experts attributed the achievement to the outstanding crisis management and proactive steps taken by the country's leaders.

Dr Syed Nadir, who has been treating a number of Covid-19 patients, thanked the UAE government for its full support in the ongoing battle against Covid-19.

"It is indeed a big achievement and I think it was made possible due to the collaborative effort of the frontliners, volunteers and proactive thinking of the UAE leaders," said Dr Nadir, acting head of internal medicine at Adam Vital Hospital in Dubai.

Thanks to mass testing, contact-tracing, isolation of patients and awareness drives, the UAE's Covid mortality rate (0.6 per cent) is considerably lower than the global average (which is around 4.3 per cent), he said.

'Screenings helped massively'

Mass testing, in particular, has been crucial in flattening the curve, doctors said. More than four million PCR tests have so far been carried out nationwide, with the UAE ranking first globally in the number of Covid-19 screenings done per capita.

"Screenings have been instrumental in identifying asymptomatic patients. This has helped the nation ensure that treatment is provided before a patient's condition worsens. The time for recovery of these patients was shorter," said Dr Nabeel Debouni, group medical director at VPS Healthcare.

Dr Nadir added that regular updates and guidance from the authorities have also been a big help for front-liners. "The health authority has been guiding us on the best, evidence-based practices. This helped us keep the situation under control."

All hospitals in the country have followed these guidelines and found them 'very helpful' in managing and treating Covid-19 patients, Dr Debouni said. "Most of the patients have recovered completely."

Timely management

Calling the UAE a role model for the world, Dr Raza Siddiqui, executive director at RAK Hospital, said the timely management of the outbreak ultimately helped the country keep the death rate low.

"UAE leadership was quick to identify the threat and understood that a comprehensive testing and screening will be the perfect strategy to contain the spread of Covid 19 and we are continuing with the drive. All this became possible because of the visionary leaders of the country," he said.

"Multi-language awareness programmes, country-wide sterilisation drives, and stringent safety measures have also ensured that the country remained ahead in the fight against Covid-19."

saman@khaleejtimes.com

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