The UAE’s healthcare system has prevailed against the pandemic. The pain has passed and credit for the robust economic recovery must go to the first responders — the doctors, paramedics, emergency aid workers, nurses and helpers in hospitals who held their nerve and emotions and battled the surge in cases when the pandemic swept across the country.
It spared no one — rich, poor, young, old, gender, and community— but every individual was treated well by the system. News of zero Covid-19 cases in Abu Dhabi’s private hospitals speaks of the resilience of the health system that built capacity and pooled in resources aided by advanced digital infrastructure.
This smart infrastructure connected every hospital and clinic and brought health services to people’s smartphones and devices. This was indeed a smart health system that was tested and came up triumphant. Credit must go to the UAE government for the long-term view of the sector and focusing on private-public partnership.
The synergy helped during the pandemic as remote medicine became the order of the day as people stayed at home and worked for their livelihood. The test-treat-cure regime was ramped up as the coronavirus first hit the UAE shores last March.
This was in line with World Health Organization protocols. The UAE never changed course and science did the rest. We will go so far as to say that history was made by the medical sector as they battled to contain the spread of the virus last year.
It was a defensive approach in the early stages of the crisis as the pathogen remained a mystery. The origins of the virus are still unknown but with the advent of vaccines in December 2020, the UAE went on the offensive and jabbed people on a war footing.
The early start to vaccination, much ahead of even Western nations helped the UAE recover quickly from the economic damage caused by the pandemic. Now, the country leads the world in vaccinations and the health sector is at the centre of global applause. Almost 97 per cent of the population is now vaccinated.
Health officials have wisely followed best practices and have moved swiftly to roll out vaccinations for 5-11-year-olds which could get the figure close to 100 per cent. Is this herd immunity? Perhaps.
The pandemic has slowed to an endemic stage in the UAE and cases have fallen below 80, which is great news ahead of the busy holiday season. Tourists are back in full force. Business activity is reaching pre-pandemic levels. And for this we have to thank the health system and its personnel for saving lives and the economy.
News Source: Khaleej Times