Dubai Suspends Entertainment Activities, Non-Essential Surgeries Over Increasing COVID-19 Cases
Dubai has ordered hotels and restaurants to put entertainment activities on hold and asked hospitals to cancel elective surgeries amid a record daily surge in coronavirus cases in the United Arab Emirates.
The city’s Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing called for the temporary hold to all entertainment activities from January 21 until further notice after inspections showed “an increase in number of violations,” it said in a circular.
The city’s health authority also asked government and private hospitals to suspend “all elective therapeutic surgeries that require deep sedation or general anesthesia,” according to a circular published on January 20.
The order, which aims to ensure medical facilities have the capacity to deal with a possible surge in hospitalization, comes into effect from midnight on Thursday until February 19 and could be extended.
UAE is battling a rise in infections as tourists escaped lockdowns across Europe for the country’s sunny weather and beaches during the winter.
A travel corridor with Britain had also brought in scores of holidaymakers, but this was shut as cases spiked.
UAE, of which Dubai is the second-largest emirate, has been conducting one of the world’s fastest inoculation programs with more than 2 million vaccine doses administered to a population of about 10 million people.
With almost 24 million tests conducted so far, UAE has also led the way on testing per-capita. While infections have spiked, deaths remain low in a country made up largely of working age expatriates. The country has reported about 264,000 infections and 762 deaths so far.
UAE’s extensive vaccination campaign is especially key to the business hub of Dubai, whose economy relies on travel and tourism. The emirate is home to more than 3 million people and aims to vaccinate 70% of its residents by the year-end.
Meanwhile, the UAE aims to cover 50% of its overall population by April.