Saturday Nov 27 2021

UAE says 100% of population received one COVID-19 jab


Photo: Al Arabiya
Photo: Al Arabiya

ABU DHABI: 100% of the United Arab Emirates´ population has received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19, the health ministry has said.

The announcement late Friday came amid growing global concern over a new Covid variant dubbed Omicron that was first detected by South Africa.

The World Health Organization said the new variant is more infectious than the dominant, highly transmissible Delta strain, and several countries, including the UAE, have restricted travel from a number of South African countries.

According to the UAE health ministry, "a total of 21,802,032 doses" of Covid vaccine have been administered in the Gulf Arab nation.

"100% (of the population) have received one dose" while "90.18% are fully vaccinated".

The UAE -- a federation of seven emirates -- is home to around 10 million people, a majority of whom are expats.

The energy-rich Arab country was considered as far back as July a leader in terms of population in inoculating people against COVID-19.

In October, the UAE declared it had overcome the coronavirus crisis after recording its lowest number of infections that month.

The UAE has so far recorded more than 741,000 cases of COVID-19, including 2,145 deaths.

New COVID-19 variant Omicron

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday categorized a newly found coronavirus variant in South Africa as a "variant of concern."

On November 9, WHO released a report stating that the initial infection was detected in a sample and named it Omicron, a letter in Greek alphabet.

Scientists believe the new variant, also known as B.1.1.529, is linked to the recent “exponential rise” in COVID-19 infections in Gauteng, South Africa's most populous province. However, experts are currently trying to determine whether the novel variety is truly to blame.

Whereas, WHO reports that the number of cases of this variety appears to be increasing in practically all of South Africa's provinces.