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  Middle East & Africa
UAE Efforts for COVID-19 Widen Worldwide
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and deputy supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces

The UAE has taken another step to resume economic activity by reopening gyms, cinemas, and increasing free movement in Dubai from May 28, 2020. Restrictions will remain in place from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. to continue the National Disinfection Program.

A new UAE-developed rapid COVID-19 laser test is showing promising results, with 85 to 90 percent accuracy. The test, which could enable more affordable mass tasting, is currently undergoing trials to further establish its effectiveness.

The UAE has now conducted over two million COVID-19 tests, amounting to one test for every 4.5 people and maintaining the country’s leading position globally on testing.

The UAE has opened another field hospital in Abu Dhabi with a capacity of 1,200 beds. Four additional field hospitals planned primarily for workers are slated to open in the coming days.

The UAE’s contact-tracing app has now been in operation for over a month and will be more effective in managing the coronavirus than a lockdown, according to the chief medical officer of the UAE’s largest healthcare network.

A number of ambassadors of foreign countries accredited to the UAE have participated in a video series highlighting UAE efforts to protect the health and safety of all foreign residents and visitors in the country, as well as repatriate nationals and provide lifesaving aid around the world. Participating countries included the UK, the US, Germany, the Philippines, Afghanistan, Switzerland, and more.

The UAE has sent medical aid to Tajikistan and Iraqi Kurdistan to bolster the global fight against COVID-19. To date, the UAE has provided over 658 metric tons of COVID-19 aid to 57 countries, supporting more than 658,000 medical professionals.

The UAE has donated 200,000 testing kits worth roughly $20 million (Dh73.5m) to one of the largest coronavirus screening centers in Las Vegas, Nevada. The donation was made by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to enable thousands of Nevada residents to be tested for COVID-19.

A genomic study of COVID-19 conducted by the UAE identified 70 mutations in the sequenced samples, 17 of which were not reported previously. The resulting sequencing data have been shared on different databases, including the global open-source COVID-19 genome database Nexstrain, which uses genetic data to help scientists globally trace the spread of outbreaks.

The UAE has helped 100 Yemeni citizens return to their home country in coordination with the Yemeni Government as part of the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian repatriation efforts.

Emirates Airline is now providing complimentary hygiene kits to every passenger at Dubai International Airport and on flights to Dubai. These kits contain masks, gloves, antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizer, supplementing additional measures to keep passengers safe.

In the words of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, “Our investments in the future paid off sooner than expected. It is reassuring to know we’re heading in the right direction.

Now, we’re encouraged to redouble efforts, to accelerate our digital transformation for Dubai to become a model smart city, forever exceeding expectations. We understand the pressure experienced by numerous sectors due to the COVID-19 crisis, but the UAE community remains strong. We are able to positively adapt to the current changes due to the flexibility that characterizes many of our sectors.”

According to Abdulla Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority, “The high level of responsiveness and prompt decision-making has led to the swift implementation of national plans to deal with the current crisis and ensured administrative efficiency in all government entities. The level of resilience displayed is proof of the innovation of the government system.”

Total cases in the country reached 32,532 as of May 28, 2020. A total of 16,685 have recovered and 258 have died. Total cases tested are more than 2 million.

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