UAE Reports Over 1,000 Cases for First Time Since August
(Bloomberg) -- The United Arab Emirates reported more than 1,000 new Covid-19 infections for the first time since late August, a steep increase from the start of the month when daily cases had fallen to below 50.
The Gulf nation recorded 1,002 new infections on Thursday, up from 665 a day earlier. The surge comes weeks after the UAE reported its first instance of the highly transmissible omicron variant.
The government has acknowledged the increase in cases, but said hospitalizations remain low. Preliminary data from studies in Britain and South Africa show that omicron appears less likely to land patients in the hospital than the delta strain.
Deaths from Covid-19 are rare in the UAE and no fatalities have been reported since Dec. 21.
Before the new variant emerged, the country had managed to keep cases under control for most of this year. De facto ruler Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared the crisis over in October as infections fell below 100 a day for the first time since the pandemic began.
High rates of testing and vaccination helped push the country to first place on Bloomberg’s Covid resilience rankings last month. It’s placed third in the latest rankings.
So far, the UAE has managed to avoid restrictions, unlike most major cities around the world. Staying open has attracted a variety of business and sporting events to the UAE, helping fuel a faster-than-expected economic recovery, especially in the trade and tourism hub of Dubai -- currently host to Expo 2020.
The UAE is now administering booster doses to its population of 10 million, and has so far covered just over 30%.
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