Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: UAE to carry out two million more tests in next two months as concerns raised over recent rise in cases

Hotel and tourism workers are among those to be screened, as officials warn the public risks becoming complacent

The UAE is to carry out two million additional Covid-19 tests over the next two months as the country's fight against the pandemic reaches a "pivotal stage".

The accelerated testing drive will focus on workers in the government and service sectors, including taxi drivers and other public transport staff, hotel workers, retail employees at malls and those in state agencies.

About 3.5 million tests have been carried out in the UAE so far.

The intensified effort comes as officials said the complacency of some members of the public had prompted a "slight increase" in new cases in recent days.

The continuing daily increase in cases is dangerous and we of course do not want to go backwards after all we have achieved

Dr Amna Al Shamsi

The UAE recorded 528 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing its total to 52,068.

Another 424 patients had overcome the virus, bringing the number of recoveries to 40,721.

One more patient died after contracting the virus, with the death toll now at 324

Dr Amna Al Shamsi, a spokeswoman for the UAE government, repeated calls for members of the public to act responsibly and aid the country's efforts to contain the virus.

"The numbers and cases over the past weekend saw a slight increase in daily infections, contrary to the decrease in the last two weeks," Dr Al Shamsi said.

"This increase is worrying and reflects the complacency of some in adhering to the procedures.

"The continuing daily increase in cases is dangerous and we of course do not want to go backwards after all we have achieved.

"The commitment of all members of society is necessary and indispensable in the current period, especially with the opening of various economic activities and the return of business."

She said it was a "pivotal and watershed" moment in the fight against Covid-19.

"The UAE government is constantly assessing health conditions locally and internationally to determine the procedures to be followed during the next phase, and we hope that this will be accompanied by the keenness of all to follow the procedures and instructions fully."

"It is essential that everyone be responsible while in public places and be careful not to be infected or endanger others through gatherings."

Dr Al Shamsi said those found to be flouting safety guidelines would by held accountable by law.

Updated: July 7, 2020 10:33 AM

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