Health authorities in the United Arab Emirates have praised residents for abiding by COVID-19 safety protocols during the Eid al-Adha break, saying the commitment of the public helped lead to a drop in cases across the country.
Officials had urged the public to celebrate safely during Eid amid fears the Muslim holiday could lead to a spike in infections due to gatherings of families and friends.
After Eid al-Fitr this year, the average daily number of COVID-19 cases reached more than 2,000 cases – the equivalent to an increase of more than 60 percent – while during Eid al-Adha last year, the average daily rate of COVID-19 infections amounted to more than 1,400 cases which, at the time, was equivalent to an increase of more than 500 percent.
However, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) revealed during a health briefing on Tuesday that cases across the country continue to decline.
Dr Taher al-Ameri, of NCEME, said: “We observed Eid al-Adha different this time, where we witness high integration from the community through their commitment to the precautionary measures, which contributed to a safe celebration, and was in line with all sectors in the country.”
NCEMA also said that the reduction of cases means a cautious return to normality across the emirates.
“The decrease in the number of infections is offset by a gradual return to normal life, the return of the country’s economic and tourism activity in a broader way and the return of employers to practice their work from the headquarters of the entities to where they belong,” al-Ameri said.
Mass testing and one of the world’s fastest vaccination programs have helped the emirates to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The UAE registered 1,539 new COVID-19 cases, 1,497 recoveries and two deaths in 24 hours, NCEMA reported on Tuesday.
The UAE’s COVID-19 death toll now sits at 1,927, according NCEMA. Total diagnosed cases since the pandemic’s onset climbed to 673,185 and total recoveries rose to 650,683.
There are now 20,575 active infections within the country.
More than 16.4 million vaccine doses have already been administered in the UAE, and almost 70 percent of the population have been fully inoculated against the virus.