Travel covid vaccinated, new Delta test, drive thru + more

Eudore R. Chand

DUBAI 1 July 2021: With the holiday season round the corner, Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management has encouraged citizens and residents in the country to be fully vaccinated before they travel abroad.

The committee urged citizens and residents planning to travel abroad to commence their overseas journeys only 14 days after receiving the second dose of the vaccine, which allows sufficient time for the body to maximise its immune preparedness.

Emphasising that vaccination is the most important tool of protection against Covid-19, the Supreme Committee said it is encouraged by the fact that the UAE is ranked the highest in the world for vaccine doses distributed per 100 persons. The country’s National Vaccination Campaign has so far administered over 15 million vaccine doses, with its distribution rate reaching 152.41 doses for every 100 persons.

The committee advised travelers to observe utmost caution when travelling overseas and avoid visiting places that are experiencing a severe outbreak of Covid-19. The committee also advised travellers to thoroughly understand and fully abide by the precautionary protocols of their destination countries to avoid infection risks.

Observing meticulous hygiene and strict precautionary measures including social distancing and mask wearing while travelling and spending time in public places is essential to minimise infection risks, it stressed. Avoiding crowded areas and potential exposure to infected people is also vital to ensure the lowest possible risk of infection, the committee added.

The committee noted that despite the current global situation, Dubai continues to be at the forefront of cities maintaining the highest levels of protection against the pandemic. The city has one of the world’s most rigorous globally-benchmarked precautionary protocol regimes, enabling it to provide exceptional safety benchmarks for the benefit of citizens, residents and visitors.

New Covid-19 test to identify Delta variant

Unilabs, a leading European diagnostic services provider, has created a new PCR test that can specifically identify the new, more infectious Delta variant, and is working with health authorities to optimise public health measures accordingly.

“With the Delta variant spreading fast, and well on its way to becoming the dominant strain of Covid-19 in many parts of Europe, we put our teams to work and came up with a test that can reliably identify this variant,” said Timoteo Guimarães, who runs Unilabs’ Covid-19 business unit. “We are using the same techniques we created to detect the Kent variant, and we expect to quickly track any future variants, too.”

In countries like Portugal, France, Switzerland, Sweden Spain, the UK, and the UAE, data from Unilabs’ testing efforts is being used to track the spread of this new variant, and identify new variants – helping health authorities put in place targeted measures to contain the virus. A data-driven approach will result in “smarter” lockdowns, save lives, and minimise the economic fall-out.

Unilabs offers PCR testing, the “gold standard” of Covid-19 tests, as well as antigen and serology tests. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Unilabs has performed more than 12 million Covid-19 tests around the world.

With a network of labs and experts across 16 countries, Unilabs is working with companies, health authorities, and governments to design effective testing strategies, and has also teamed up with airlines to help test international travellers.

Unilabs recently signed an agreement to incorporate Unilabs’ worldwide Covid-19 testing network into IATA Travel Pass, the travel app of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Reliable testing is particularly vital in the context of mass vaccinations, the lifting of restrictions, and the resulting uptick in mobility.

97.3% success rate of Covid-19 medicine Sotrovimab

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP), in collaboration with the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Dubai Health Authority (DHA), has announced the treatment results for Sotrovimab, an anti-viral treatment for severe Covid-19 cases in adults, pregnant women and children aged 12 and above who are at risk of progressing to severe symptoms and meet other relevant criteria.

The MoHAP has approved the use of Sotrovimab, which is produced by global biopharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), after conducting local evaluation. It has also been approved for emergency use by the US Food and Drug Administration. Between 16-29 June, Sotrovimab was administered to 658 patients with Covid-19, 46 percent of whom are citizens and 54 percent of whom are residents. About 59 percent of the patients are aged 50 or above.

More than 97.3 percent of recipients showed improvement within five to seven days and, as symptoms subsided, neared full recovery. Patients receiving Sotrovimab fall within at-risk groups due to other comorbidities that have been associated with severe Covid-19, such as obesity, cancer, kidney disease, lung disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, hypertension and allergies.

Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody treatment delivered through intravenous therapy in accordance with protocols developed by the National Scientific Committee.

The UAE was one of the first countries in the world to receive a shipment of Sotrovimab in mid-June, following an agreement between the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, Rafed, a leading group purchasing organisation, GSK and Etihad Cargo

New Covid-19 drive-through center in Al Manhal

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, (Seha) announced the opening of a new Covid-19 drive-through services center in Al Manhal area in Abu Dhabi.

The new center is composed of 4 tracks; 1 for vaccination and 3 for nose swab with a capacity of 100 vaccinations and 600 nose swabs and laser tests per day.

The center welcomes clients from Saturday to Thursday from 8 AM to 8 PM and on Friday from 10 AM to 8 PM. The new center was built utilising shipping containers, similar to the center recently opened in Al Sarouj. The shipping containers are more durable and adaptable, and provide a very high level of heat and cold resistance. They are also easier to move, reuse, and maintain.

This brings the total number of drive-through screening centers managed by Seha in Abu Dhabi to 6; Al Madina, Zayed Sports City, Al Bahia, Al Shamkha, Al Wathba, and the new center in Al Manhal. Anyone wanting to receive the vaccine or undergo Covid-19 screening can book an appointment through SEHA’s app.

1,747 new covid-19 cases, 1,731 recoveries, 4 deaths

MoHAP conducted 302,318 Covid-19 tests over the past 24 hours, and announced 1,747 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the UAE to 632,907.

MoHAP also announced four deaths due to Covid-19 complications, bringing the total number of deaths in the country to 1,811.

The ministry expressed its sincere condolences to the family of the deceased and wished Covid-19 patients a speedy and full recovery. It called on all members of the society to cooperate with health authorities, adhere to the instructions and physical distance to ensure the health and safety of all.

MoHAP also noted that an additional 1,731 individuals had fully recovered from Covid-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to 611,442.

The total number of vaccine doses provided stands at 15,281,200 with a rate of vaccine distribution of 154.51 doses per 100 people.


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