UAE to hold special Covid-19 briefing on Monday

The UAE government will hold a special Covid-19 media briefing on Monday.

The National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said the 5.30pm broadcast would contain Covid-19 updates without elaborating further.

Such briefings have taken place regularly during the pandemic — at first weekly before being reduced to fortnightly — to provide vital information to the public on the country’s fight against the virus. The briefings have included announcements of new safety measures.

The Ncema stopped holding the briefings in May, saying they would be “reinstated only if exceptional developments arise regarding the pandemic in the country”.

Special broadcasts were previously held in July and August to set out safety rules for the Eid Al Adha break and the return of thousands of pupils to schools for the new academic year.

The briefings have typically been broadcast on the Dubai One television station as well as government social media channels.

Daily Covid-19 cases have dropped significantly following a spike in infection rates in June and July.

Sunday’s total of 355 new cases was the lowest recorded in four months.

Case numbers have remained below 500 since August 31.

Authorities have gradually relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in recent months.

In February, the UAE lifted requirements to wear face coverings in outdoor places. Meanwhile, motorists travelling to Abu Dhabi from other emirates no longer need to show their green pass status on Al Hosn app.

Nearly 615 million Covid-19 cases have been confirmed across the world since the virus emerged in late 2019, with more than 6.5 million deaths.

The World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a pandemic in March 2020.

But the global health body believes there is cause for optimism in the world’s fight against the virus.

“We are not there yet. But the end is in sight,” WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last week.

Comprehensive vaccination drives have helped to stem the spread of the virus, slowing death rates and reducing hospital admissions.

President Joe Biden has declared the pandemic over in the US, although coronavirus-related deaths in the country continue to rise.