Abdulla Al Hamed: A new milestone has been reached by Abu Dhabi in its response to the COVID-19 pandemic
6 Apr, 2021: On the sidelines of the announcement made about Abu Dhabi leading the world in response to the COVID-19, topping a ranking of the world’s 25 leading cities for their pandemic including Seoul, Sydney, Singapore and Ottawa, H.E. Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi said: "Abu Dhabi has grabbed the world’s attention with its unique response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It has emerged on the global stage by topping the world based on distinguished international classifications. Abu Dhabi’s resounding success that we witness today is a fruition of the wise leadership’s interest and sharp vision that resulted launching well-thought strategies and several initiatives to deal with the crisis, and the guidance, unwavering support and inspiration it has provided to all working teams and everyone living in Abu Dhabi. This has translated into hard work and remarkable efforts seen by different entities with the support of concerned teams hailing from different sectors that include economy, tourism, education, police, energy, municipalities, and others. The healthcare sector has played a vital role in enabling Abu Dhabi to be at the forefront of the world’s cities and working alongside different sectors to achieve a unified goal that contributes to the ambitious development journey in Abu Dhabi and maintaining the health and safety of our community."
"At DoH, we are focusing on a set of key pillars, including adopting a world-class approach of testing, tracing, institutional isolation as well as e-isolation with a capacity of over 100 thousands tests on a daily basis, while enhancing the capacity of the healthcare sector ecosystem to provide all the services to those who need them and raising the capacity of laboratory examinations to conduct more than 180 thousands tests to detect, manage, and keep low levels of incidents as well as to continue the treatment plans of patients though finding digital solutions that fit their needs." Al Hamed added.
From his side, H.E Dr. Jamal Mohammed Alkaabi, Undersecretary of DoH, said: "Since the initial signs of the pandemic, the UAE’s wise leadership has been committed to putting the health and wellbeing of all members of the community at the forefront of its priorities. This is the secret behind Abu Dhabi being a world leader when it comes to responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. This classification drives the efforts and work in unison, so that Abu Dhabi remains an inspiration to the world with its excellence, proactive approach and ability to overcome the challenges."
H.E Matar Al Nuaimi Director General of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Center said "Despite the challenges that the world has been facing, Abu Dhabi has demonstrated its effectiveness, its ability and its preparedness to confront the challenge of the COVID-19 virus, moving forward with steady steps and driven by high ambition to becoming the world’s leader in maintaining the health and safety of the community while also building a future with better health for all. Today, Abu Dhabi has proved once again that it holds a unique position at the forefront of the world’s leading cities."
The report analysed the regional response to pandemics on a city level - to a total of 25 cities and municipalities globally - by applying an analytical framework consisting of 50 parameters classified into 5 qualitatively distinct categories: (1) Government efficiency in terms of monitoring and crisis management systems; (2) Economic resilience in light of the pandemic; (3) Healthcare management in terms of actively introducing online diagnostic tools, looking at the effectiveness of diagnostic systems, the number of beds in health facilities, and the human competencies that contribute to the health sector; (4) Quarantine efficiency which included the scope and duration of home quarantine, economic support for the quarantined, travel guidelines and restrictions, and legal procedures for violating home quarantine instructions; (5) Vaccination rate, which looked at vaccinations per capita.
Over the past years, the Abu Dhabi government has established a health infrastructure with global capabilities that has led to an increase in the efficiency of access to health care services, including enhancing the capacity of the health sector, medical personnel and equipment. A number of mobile testing centres have been established and operated for inspection and examination, as well as vaccination for the elderly and those with chronic diseases, in addition to continue providing healthcare services to the community without interruption and in innovative ways such as drive-through services, virtual appointments, home visits, telemedicine and home delivery of medicines.
The Department of Health—Abu Dhabi has also launched, the “Research Registry for COVID-19”, which is a unified platform to support R&D efforts in the fight against COVID-19, facilitating scientific discoveries to tackle the virus. Additionally, Abu Dhabi has joined international efforts to find a vaccine, underscoring the government's focus on identifying a potential cure to one of mankind's biggest challenges of the 21st Century, by taking part in the third phase of clinical trials for the Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine, as well as the volunteer programme for Phase III clinical trials of Russian human adenovirus-based vaccine.
DoH has also collaborated with Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre to launch a healthcare programme for senior citizens and individuals with chronic illnesses, that aims to ensure the continuity of treatment plans for high-risk groups who are more prone to contracting the virus, and maintain the health and safety of the society as a whole.
The UAE has also launched a COVID-19 vaccinations campaign, that is free of charge for all citizens and residents of the emirate of Abu Dhabi. The wide-spread campaign targeted 106 different locations across the emirate and has contributed to vaccinating more than 8 million people so far and administered an average of 81.71 doses per 100 capita on a daily basis.
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