UAE tests over one-third of population for COVID-19: Health minister

UAE Health Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al-Owais. (SPA)

DUBAI (RAHNUMA): The UAE has carried out more than 3 million tests for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), representing nearly a third of its 9.89 million population, Health Minister Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al-Owais said.

The country started tracking cases in early January before the World Health Organization (WHO) had even announced a serious outbreak, the minister told a webinar summit of world governments on COVID-19 response.

“Residents and citizens came together during the coronavirus pandemic,” which was one of the reasons behind the UAE’s effective response, Al-Owais added, along with the government’s cooperation with the private sector.

In April, UK-based Deep Knowledge Group ranked the UAE among the world’s top 10 countries for treating COVID-19 cases. Also on the list were Germany, China, South Korea, Austria, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Israel, and Japan.

The UAE has been reporting a decreasing number of daily cases, with the latest figures showing 392 new patients on Sunday. The country has so far recorded a total of 44,925 COVID-19 cases, with 302 deaths and 32,415 recoveries.

Meanwhile, WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told the webinar gathering that “the coronavirus pandemic is still accelerating globally,” and he called for global preparedness which was “not a one-time investment” but a continuous effort.

The Swedish, Norwegian and Emirati ministers of health stressed the necessity of learning to live with COVID-19 and developing a new normal.

The sentiment was echoed by WHO’s envoy on COVID-19, David Nabarro, who said: “The coronavirus is not going away, it is up to all of us to change our behavior to live with this virus.”

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