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UAE scales up COVID-19 test, targets 1m citizens monthly

By Monsurudeen Olowoopejo

The government spokesperson, Amna al-Shamsi, said that the daily infection rate had dropped from a peak of over 900 in late May to average between 300 and 400, but rose over the weekend to 700 which called for concerns.

Al-Shamsi, through a post on the government Twitter account on Tuesday, explained that the astronomical rise in confirmed cases of the infection may not be unconnected to the lifting of restrictions on nationwide curfew imposed in the emirate to flatten the curve of the virus since mid-March. 

“While it is worrying to see a slight increase in cases in the past few days, it is a reminder that we all should be responsible and committed to following health practices.

“UAE health authorities continue to increase testing capacity for COVID-19, with additional two million tests to be performed in the coming two months, across the country,’’ she said.

Dubai had on June 24 gradually reopened commercial businesses, public venues, and the emirate, or state, of Dubai, and disclosed that all guidelines had been put in place and plans concluded to reopen to foreign visitors on Tuesday before the new development.

The UAE recorded 528 new cases on Monday, taking its tally to 52,068 with 324 deaths.

Dubai’s move to allow foreign visitors has not been implemented on the federal level in the UAE, which does not provide a breakdown of coronavirus cases for each of its seven emirates.

Abu Dhabi, the largest and richest emirate, has restricted movement into the UAE capital, with people residing outside the emirate required to obtain a permit showing a negative COVID-19 test.

Neighboring Saudi Arabia has the highest count among the six Gulf Arab states at more than 213,700 infections with 1,968 deaths as of Monday.

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