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Entertainment, elective surgeries on hold as cases surge in Dubai

21 January 2021

Hotels and restaurants in Dubai have been advised to put entertainment activities on hold, while hospitals have been asked to cancel elective surgeries, owing to a record surge in daily coronavirus cases in the emirate.

The Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing in Dubai has called for a temporary halt on all entertainment activities from 21st January until further notice, after inspections showed a steep increase in number of violations, it said in its circular.

The Dubai Health Authority has asked the government and private hospitals to suspend “all elective therapeutic surgeries requiring deep sedation or general anesthesia,” according to a circular on 20th January. This aims to ensure that medical facilities have the capacity to deal with possible surge in hospitalization. This comes into effect from 21st January until 19th February, and could be extended further.

The UAE has witnessed surge in infections as tourists escaped lockdowns across Europe, given the country’s sunny weather, and beaches here. Further, the travel corridor with Britain also brought in plenty of holidaymakers. However, this was shut later as the cases spiked.

The UAE has been on one of the fastest Covid-19 inoculation programs, and more than two million vaccine doses have already been administered to a population of 10 million people.

About 24 million tests have been done so far, making UAE the topmost on testing per-capita. Although infections have spiked, deaths continue to remain low in a country that largely constitutes working age expatriates.

The extensive vaccination campaign in UAE is key to Dubai, the business hub, as the economy largely depends on travel and tourism. With a population of over 3 million people, it hopes to get at least 70 percent of its residents vaccinated by the year-end.

Robin Vinod

Writer/blogger who writes on topics such as travel, real estate, employment and everyday life on GCC countries.

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