Case Count and Vaccination Rates
The UAE has administered 23,673,464 doses of Covid-19 vaccine, with an average of about 28,926 doses administered each day over the last week.
Abu Dhabi has [opened a children’s only vaccination center] (https://www.thenationalnews.com/uae/health/2022/01/27/abu-dhabi-opens-centre-that-specialises-in-covid-vaccinations-for-children/), called the Etihad Heroes Healthcare Center, run by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA). The center is offering Covid-19 vaccinations to children between the ages of 3 and 16 years starting last week and is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Children aged 12 years or older are eligible for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and children aged 3 years or older are eligible for the Sinopharm vaccine.
Residents and tourists should be sure to follow the required AlHosn testing regimen closely, especially following international travel, to [avoid being fined for failure to comply with Covid-19 regulations](link the news piece about this).
Individuals vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine require a booster
six months after the second dose. Individuals vaccinated with the Sinopharm vaccine who are 50 years or older or have a chronic illness require a booster three months after the second dose, while all other recipients require a booster six months after the second dose. Individuals vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine also require a booster six months after the second dose. A 30 day grace period will be granted upon the three or six-month deadline in which the booster can be received.
Starting Sunday, Feb. 6, the UAE has lifted previously instated Covid-19 travel bans
to the following countries: Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. UAE citizens who are fully vaccinated and boosted can now visit these countries freely.
Covid-19 Recovery and Alhosn Status
In recognition of the fact that recent Covid-19 patients frequently continue to test positive after recovery, fully vaccinated Abu Dhabi citizens and residents who have recently had Covid-19 [are now exempt from the biweekly negative PCR testing requirement] (https://www.khaleejtimes.com/coronavirus/covid-in-uae-tested-positive-al-hosn-app-to-turn-green-after-11-days-no-pcr-test-needed). Under previous rules, to reinstate one’s Alhosn Green Pass after testing positive, residents had to obtain two negative PCR results at least 24 hours apart. Now, positive cases must be quarantined for 10 days, then on day 11, their Alhosn will automatically turn green for 30 days, at which point residents must return to the standard testing regime.
Ajman Restrictions on Federal Employees
The Emirate of Ajman recently issued a circular
to all federal employees informing them that they would not receive sick or quarantine leave if they contract Covid-19 a second time in a space outside of their homes or their workplace. This measure has been implemented in the hopes of discouraging unsafe behavior in social and public spaces.
The circular also details violations of Covid-19 guidelines that will result in deductions of employees’ salaries, including failure to wear a mask, shaking hands or being in crowded areas.
Dr. Ammar Safar, an ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital in Dubai, shared, "Covid-19 can enter the body through the eyes just as it does through the mouth or nose. There is an equally prevalent possibility of infecting the eyes via particles spread through coughing, sneezing or even by talking with an infected person in close proximity. One’s eyes can also get infected if they touch an infected surface and then rub their eyes. "
As a result, doctors are recommending that patients not wear contact lenses through the duration of their Covid-19 recovery and if they begin to display symptoms such as redness and swelling of the eyes, to seek medical treatment, likely consisting of prescription eye drops.
Grace Bechdol is Editor-in-Chief. Email her at email@example.com.