On January 29, 2020, Dubai confirmed its first coronavirus case. It was a family of four returning from Wuhan, the epicenter of Coronavirus Pandemic. Since then, the city has left no stone unturned to contain and combat this deadly virus. The UAE witnessed 54,453 coronavirus cases with 44,648 successful recoveries and mere 331 deaths as reported on 12 July 2020. The efficiency of government, healthcare sector, and frontline workers can be reckoned from the statistics itself.
For centuries, this desert city is being run by the royals, who are known for their vision, tolerance, and empathy. The government has tackled every situation bravely that has befallen in front of them, be it the economic dip, recession, or the global pandemic. With no new deaths or cases reported, Dubai is crawling towards normalcy. So, how did the city manage to stop the spread of the virus? What lesson should other countries struggling with COVID-19 learn from Dubai?
The wise move!
Right from the first case of coronavirus, the city waged a war against it. Dubai took some commendable steps, put in the right protocols and processes in place to root out COVID-19. From banning the travel to imposing strict lockdowns the city did it all to save the citizens from this dreaded virus.
We have rounded up some information on how Dubai defeated coronavirus.
1. Aggressive testing.
The thing that distinguishes UAE’s strategy from the rest of the world, was aggressive testing. Over two million tests have been conducted over the last two months. All the associates and family members of the diagnosed case were tested to track the spread of disease. Moreover, healthcare officials and government workers were also tested regularly as a precautionary measure.
Dubai’s municipal department conducted an 11-day sanitization program, under which all the roads, public places, and offices were precisely sanitized. Drones, trucks, and disinfect sprays were used to complete the process in a short period.
The UAE closed its borders way back in March except for ex-pats returning home. The outbound passengers returning from affected areas were monitored and screened properly. Expats were isolated to curb the spread of COVID-19. The inbound travelers were screened before sending them back home.
Dubai is one of those cities in the world that doesn’t shy away from prioritizing the health sector and this was proved by the pandemic as well. The city has highly equipped hospitals and medical centers that catered to the patients effectively. Taking care of all the needs of patients-right from cleanliness to nutrition to individual care, health care professionals have done a laudable job.
5. People come first!
Tourism is one of the major contributors to Dubai’s economy. Moreover, Dubai was preparing for the Dubai Expo 2020 before the pandemic struck and expected 20 million visitors in 2020. But in the wake of the coronavirus, the city canceled this grand event. The decision was made solely to contain the virus and for the safeguard of the citizens.
6.Protocols for all.
Dubai imposed a strict lockdown to control the virus. All the public places, restaurants, parks, offices, schools, and malls were completely shut. People defying the social distancing orders were fined heavily. Not to deny, the people cooperated well with the lockdown rules, this made it easier for the government to keep a hold on the spreading virus.
From well-equipped research labs to smart helmets, Dubai gave the technological and scientific department all the facilities to test the virus. It helped in a better understanding of the virus and introducing new treatment methods. The doctors and workers were facilitated with the best of PPEs, Digital thermometers, protective masks, and 3-d printed helmets to fight the pandemic. Many applications and tracking software were devised for keeping the citizens updated. The government would send reminders and messages in Arabic and English to aware people of the virus. A proper model was devised to handle the virus effectively.
The UAE Federal Government introduced a “Targeted Economic Support Scheme” under which people would be cut some slack on interests and loans. This was done to avoid the liquidation of companies due to the financial crises brought up by coronavirus. Some other concessions done to save businesses are:
- The market fees were halted for three months.
- The down payment required for obtaining or renewing a license is canceled.
- The commercial licenses are being renewed without following the mandatory renewal lease.
- Essential bills are exempted by 10%.
- The municipality fees on selling hotels are reduced to 3.5%.
- Tenants struggling to pay rents cannot be evicted.
- Many relaxations have been given to free zone business establishments as well.
Moreover, Burj Khalifa was used for donating money to the families impacted economically with coronavirus. The external lights of the tallest building in the world were bid to buy food for people in need.
Dubai was able to come out of coronavirus because of its top-notch strategy and brilliant implementation. The efforts of the government would have been foiled without the support of its people. It was the united endeavor of the UAE government and citizens that helped in kicking-off coronavirus from Dubai.
Hopefully, the whole world will come out victorious from these hard times.
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