DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The UAE government announced on Monday night that Abu Dhabi will deny access to almost all public places and schools for people who have not been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
The oil-rich United Arab Emirates Announced consideration of the plan April, but no restrictions were imposed. Now they will be promulgated in its capital of 1.5 million people starting on August 20.
A tweet from the Abu Dhabi Media Office read: “The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Committee has approved that only those who have been vaccinated are allowed to enter some public places. In the emirate, 93% of the target group has been vaccinated and After protecting public health.”
Entry restrictions will apply to shopping centers, restaurants, cafes, gyms, entertainment facilities, sports activities, and all other retail businesses that are not in shopping centers or malls. A subsequent tweet revealed that access to “basic” businesses such as pharmacies and supermarkets will remain the exception.
“The decision also applies to health clubs, resorts, museums and cultural centers, theme parks, universities and research institutes, schools and nurseries,” the Twitter post continued.
Children under the age of 15 and those who have a special exemption from vaccination will not be subject to the new regulations.
Abu Dhabi touted its high vaccination rate, and its Ministry of Health stated that it has reached 93% of the emirate’s population, which is one of the reasons for its action.
As a whole, the UAE has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, vaccinating more than 15 million doses of vaccines among its more than 10 million foreign population. Since all available vaccines in the UAE require two doses, this is enough to vaccinate about 77% of the population in the Gulf countries. According to calculation Reuters reported.
On December 24, 2020, an Emirati man wearing a protective mask walks in the al-Barsha Health Center in the Emirate of Dubai Bay.
Giuseppe Carcass | AFP via Getty Images
The Abu Dhabi announcement still faces some criticism, at least online.
“They never stated how it will affect tourists? If taken in another country, they can’t register their vaccine on al hosn. Does this mean tourists can’t go anywhere in Abu Dhabi? Good luck in traveling!!! In response to the news, a Twitter user wrote that he was referring to the Al Hosn tracking and vaccination registration application in the UAE.
Abu Dhabi did not specify whether this applies to tourists, and did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
So far, the entry ban on unvaccinated persons only applies to Abu Dhabi. In Dubai, the commercial and tourist capital of the UAE, some companies such as bars and restaurants require proof of full vaccination, but these restrictions are not widespread.
According to data from Johns Hopkins University, the Desert Emirate has registered 631,160 infections and 1,807 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The current average daily number of infections is about 2,100, which is about half of the number of people infected with the virus. . Peak in late January.
However, these figures did not specify the emirates or cities in which the cases or deaths occurred. Vaccination activities in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, the most populous emirates of the UAE, are also different.
Abu Dhabi will only provide China-made Sinopharm vaccines from the end of 2020, which is in line with its plan Joint venture to produce vaccines locally Sinopharm and Group 42, a technology company headquartered in Abu Dhabi, commonly known as G42.
At the same time, Dubai has developed Pfizer-Photographed by BioNTech, Oxford, UK-AstraZeneca Vaccines and Russian satellite V. Most of the vaccines vaccinated in this country are China’s Sinopharm, which is available to all people earlier than other vaccines. All vaccinations in the country are free.
However, some countries and residents do not believe in the efforts of the UAE.It’s still in Tourism “Red List” -Means strict quarantine is required on arrival or a total ban on entry-Several countries including the United Kingdom are major trading and tourism partners.
Abu Dhabi now offers Pfizer injections as And the third dose, or booster, Sinopharm Group It is reported that after receiving two doses from Sinopharm Group, an undisclosed number of people did not produce enough Covid-19 antibodies. The neighboring Gulf country Bahrain also provides the same service. Although fully vaccinated, several Chinese vaccinators have reported infection with Covid.
The UAE government announced in December last year that the China National Biotechnology Group (a subsidiary of Sinopharm Holdings) conducted an “interim analysis” of the vaccine’s Phase 3 trial in Abu Dhabi. Found that it is 86% efficientBut the announcement did not elaborate and did not disclose how the 86% figure was calculated.
In the same month, China announced the vaccine 79.34% effective According to what it called “interim test data”, the results of the third phase were not announced, which contradicts the UAE’s figures.
Sinopharm did not respond to CNBC’s multiple requests for comment.
World Health Organization May Approved for emergency use of Sinopharm, Making it the first non-Western vaccine approved by the organization. It is one of the two main lenses in China and has been used by millions in China and elsewhere, especially in developing countries.