Dubai entities confirm preparedness to deal with all scenarios and their confidence in the public’s commitment to preventive measures during Eid
- Dubai entities confirm preparedness to deal with all scenarios and their confidence in the public’s commitment to preventive measures during Eid
- Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police and Director General of DHA respond to media questions at a remote press conference organised by GDMO
- Thanks to the vision of Mohammed bin Rashid, Dubai has a strong infrastructure for delivering smart government services and applications, say officials
Heads of prominent Dubai authorities at the forefront of combating the COVID-19 pandemic today confirmed their preparedness to deal with all possible scenarios and their confidence in the community’s commitment to preventive measures during the Eid Al Fitr holiday.
The officials were speaking at a remote press conference organised by the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) in collaboration with Dubai TV. Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, and His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, answered a series of questions from senior officials of major Arabic and English media in the UAE. The media interaction, broadcast on Dubai TV channels, provided the latest updates on the COVID-19 situation in the emirate and measures taken by their organisations to support Dubai’s efforts to mitigate the crisis.
His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority, said an analysis of the COVID-19 situation in the emirate shows that recovery rates are increasing and the infection, quarantine and hospitalisation rates are stable. Hospitalisation and ICU rates in Dubai are lower than global averages, he pointed out.
Cases that require ICU treatment or ventilators constitute only a tiny fraction of total infected cases. Most cases exhibit only mild symptoms. Comprehensive follow-ups and extensive testing are being conducted for isolated and quarantined cases, he added.
After systematic monitoring of indicator trends, DHA has found that Dubai’s healthcare sector including the private and public sector have the capacity to meet requirements for quarantine and isolation. Al Qatami hoped that indicators in the next phase will be even more positive.
Answering a question on rising infection numbers, Al Qatami said, considering the fact that testing is being expanded as part of the UAE’s policy, the increase in infections is reasonable. Testing is being intensified in high-density areas such as labour camps. As long as large-scale intensive testing is conducted on a regular basis, the situation will be under control and does not impact the ability of the healthcare sector to deal with the crisis, the DHA head said.
Responding to a query on whether DHA’s efforts to combat the outbreak compromises the delivery of its other health services, Al Qatami said consultation services in DHA healthcare facilities and private hospitals continue to be provided as normal. Thousands of minor and major surgeries are continuing to be conducted in DHA facilities.
The pandemic has had no impact on DHA services, he stressed. However, specific protocols have been established for receiving cases and transferring cases to other hospitals in cooperation between public and private hospitals to address COVID-19 and other health problems without affecting services for patients.
Addressing the factors behind the spread of the virus, Al Qatami said that in the last few weeks, there was a rise in COVID-19 cases among Emiratis. As we begin to celebrate Eid, it is crucial that people adhere to social distancing and precautionary measures to avoid a surge in cases, he stressed.
Speaking about the Golden Visas granted to doctors working on the frontlines, he said the gesture reflects the leadership’s recognition of their exceptional efforts to provide the highest level of care to patients. He said DHA is working with other entities in Dubai to evaluate other groups to prepare a new list of candidates for recognition.
Major General Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri, Commander-in-Chief of Dubai Police, said as Eid approaches, Dubai Police is conducting comprehensive monitoring to ensure compliance with precautionary measures. More than 500 patrols spread across the city are working diligently to enforce preventive measures and more than 63 inspection points have been set up at Dubai’s entry points to make sure people travelling in vehicles follow precautionary measures. Dubai Police also uses radars and cameras to monitor the observance of measures like physical distancing and wearing of masks by the public.
Speaking about the measures being taken to prevent the spread of the virus in high-density areas like labour camps, Al Marri said blue-collar workers enjoy equal rights and are provided the same levels of care as others. Testing and quarantine facilities offered to them are of the highest standards. A total of 7 million Iftar meals were distributed to labourers until yesterday. Iftar meals are distributed at 46 places in Dubai daily in cooperation with entities such as the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs, Dubai Municipality and licensed charities. All organisations are working together to ease the challenges faced by labourers.
Responding to a question on whether Dubai Police has observed an increase in criminal activity in the emirate following the outbreak of the pandemic, Al Marri said Dubai’s strong relationships with law enforcement bodies in other countries and international organisations like Interpol and Europol further strengthens its ability to prevent crime. Dubai Police field teams combined with its other sections are working closely to deal with any incidents of crime. A couple of days ago, Dubai Police seized 58 tonnes of drugs.
Following the enforcement of restrictions in Naif, Dubai Police ensured comprehensive security in the Gold Souk area that has 1,270 gold shops. On coming back to their stores after the partial lifting of restrictions, business owners and traders in these areas found that their merchandise is safe, he said.
Dubai Police has launched many initiatives to support Dubai government entities and institutions at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. In one of the initiatives, members of its Youth Council were mobilised to support doctors and nurses at hospitals. Another initiative was focused on delivering Iftar meals to labour camps. Dubai Police’s ‘Ride With Dubai Police’ initiative, launched on Monday, has received requests from 5,300 volunteers from 21 nationalities to join its bicycle patrol. Volunteers were invited to patrol certain locations along with Dubai Police and share information with the public on precautionary and preventive measures. We are continuing with this initiative and expect to get good results from it, Al Marri said.
Dubai Police has put in place strong systems and offers smart services to customers through its apps and websites. Thanks to the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the UAE and Dubai have a strong infrastructure for delivering smart services and applications, said Al Marri. In the first three months of the year, the number of website transactions rose sharply to 162,000 while app transactions reached more than 63,000, he said.
Al Qatami said DHA is using its smart applications to improve services offered to the community. The ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’ initiative of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) offers residents 24/7 consultations with doctors regarding COVID-19 concerns via video and voice calls. Its Dawaee app facilitates delivery of medicines to segments of the community that cannot visit hospitals. DHA’s apps reduce the need for people to go to hospitals without compromising on the quality of services they receive, he said.