The Dubai authorities are tightening up restrictive measures to combat the spread of COVID-19. The introduction of the new rules is associated with a record increase in the number of infections, which tripled in January 2021. Some states, including Israel and the United Kingdom, have introduced mandatory quarantines for their citizens returning from the emirate.
American television channel CNBC reports on the possibility of complete isolation of Dubai in case of an increase in the incidence. According to data released by the UAE Ministry of Health, the number of daily detected infections has exceeded 3.5 thousand. For comparison, in the first period of the emirate's isolation, this figure was 10 times less. Hopkins University, which analyzes the incidence statistics, reports 281 thousand cases in Dubai, of which 798 people died.
According to CNBC, the authorities of the emirate have imposed a moratorium on public events in bars, cafes and restaurants. The maximum number of participants in celebrations and holidays has been reduced from 30 to 10 people. Also, the requirements for social distancing of people in catering establishments were tightened, in particular, the number of available places was reduced. Another possible consequence of the increased incidence was the resignation of the head of the Dubai Health Department, Humayd al-Kutami. However, the official reason for the official’s dismissal was never announced.
It is necessary to clarify that since the summer of 2020, the emirate adhered to the so-called "strategy of openness", which implied admission to tourists from all over the world. At the same time, the epidemiological measures were very moderate; in addition, sports, music and cultural events were held to showcase Dubai as a “safe destination” to travel.
Not a single state has officially announced a complete stop of communication with the emirate. However, Denmark has already temporarily suspended flights to Dubai. This is not due to an increase in the number of infections, but to doubts about the integrity of the tests carried out on the territory of the resort. In particular, several tourists who returned from the emirate were infected, and one of them is a carrier of the "South African" strain of coronavirus. The UAE Ministry of Health has formally denied allegations of falsified tests.
At the same time, one of the largest vaccination campaigns in the world is being carried out in the United Arab Emirates. Residents over the age of 16 can receive the Chinese drug Sinopharm free of charge. The previously planned use of the Pfizer development is currently on hold due to a shortage of the drug. Also in the UAE, trials of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine, which has already been approved for emergency use, continue.