Intense screening, quarantining measures and testing for COVID-19 have improved the rate of recoveries in the Gulf Cooperation Council nations.
A series of measures including contact tracing and curfews have resulted in a recovery rate of more than 50 % amongst the patients in most of these nations. Expatriates accounts for majority of COVID-19 cases in these countries. The recovery rate in Saudi Arabia is over 70 % even as the positive cases in the kingdom was inching towards one lakh.
Of the six GCC nations, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has conducted more than 21.50 lakh tests in all the emirates, especially in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. However, a disturbing factor is the prevalent co-morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes among the population in the Gulf region.
Urban centres in the GCC nations have controlled the spread of the coronavirus to a large extent by imposing restrictions at public places. Now the authorities are allowing a gradual easing, including travel and opening air spaces.
The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority of the UAE has launched an integrated health and safety advisory outlining all precautionary measures that must be pursued across all hotel establishments to ensure safety and well-being of guests.
It has issued a manual addressing physical distancing measures, cleaning and sanitisation of guest rooms, health checks of hotel staff and guests, hygiene protocols, in addition to regulations on operations of restaurants, cafes, swimming pools, beaches, health clubs and other utilities of these establishments.
Meanwhile, Emirates and Etihad, both leading airline companies in the UAE, have already announced that they soon plan to operate services to 49 destinations across Asia, Europe and Australia this month. Already its aviation ministry has decided to resume transit flights via the Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah airports.
However, after reviewing the epidemiological situation and the high occupancy levels of the intensive care units, Saudi Arabia has decided to retighten the health precautions in the city of Jeddah for a period of 15 days from June 6. All domestic travel through air and land will be allowed, and entry into and out of the city will not be restricted outside the curfew hours.
In Qatar, its Ministry of Public Health has said it had succeeded in flattening the curve and reducing the impact of the virus mainly through the preventive measures taken and the cooperation of all members of society.
With inputs from The Hindu