Kerala

Low COVID-19 case fatality rates in Gulf countries provide ray of hope for Keralites looking to return

A merchant wearing a face mask and latex gloves, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, reaches for jewellery at a jeweller's shop in Dubai.   | Photo Credit: AFP

Multiple proactive measures such as ban on travel, suspension of flights, prohibiting religious activities, mass testing and vaccination have helped the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations to keep their COVID-19 case fatality rate low compared to other counties.

With speedy recovery rates and low fatalities, the Gulf region has gradually started opening up. The total number deaths recorded in the GCC was 18,165, as per latest figures. This gives a glimmer of hope for Keralites with Gulf residency visa stranded in the State to return to their destinations.

Statistics issued by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority showed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is closer to reaching recovery as well as acquiring herd immunity through the vaccination drive. It said that 77.91% of the population in the UAE received at least one dose of vaccination and that 69.35% of the population has been fully vaccinated.

The UAE has conducted 64,715,985 tests and it had 674,724 diagnosed cases. The number of deaths was 1,929 and active cases stood at 20,615. Meanwhile, Dubai is gearing up to host the Expo 2020 from October 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022. Originally scheduled from October 20, 2020, to April 10, 2021, the Expo was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of now, many stranded UAE residents in India have been flying to other countries, including Armenia and Uzbekistan, to spend 14 days there, before hopping on to a flight to the UAE.

In Saudi Arabia, nearly 20% of the population has been fully vaccinated and 53.8% received the first dose. The kingdom recorded 8,167 deaths, while nearly 5 lakh recovered from the disease.

Saudi Arabia has also announced that citizens who travel to red-list countries would be slapped with a three-year international travel ban. And Kuwait authorities said that only citizens who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus will be allowed to travel abroad starting from August 1.

Qatar is also way ahead in vaccinations. Nearly 60% of the population has been fully vaccinated and 70% have received the first jab. The tiny emirate, which is an hour-long flight away from the UAE, has recently reopened its borders to vaccinated tourists. After it announced changes to its travel and quarantine policy, UAE residents have been increasingly looking at this option.

In the case of Bahrain, 63.7% of the population have been fully vaccinated and 67.2% got the first dose. Also, its National Medical Taskforce for Combatting the Coronavirus said that cinemas, indoor events and conferences, and attendance of indoor sports events will be opened to those who are vaccinated and have completed 14 days after the second dose of a vaccine.

About 35% of the population received at least one dose of vaccination against COVID-19 in Kuwait. About 22% of the population have received both doses. Now, only citizens who have been vaccinated for the coronavirus will be allowed to travel abroad starting on August 1, its authorities said.

Only 6.8% of the population have been fully vaccinated in the Sultanate of Oman. At least 32% received at least one dose of vaccine. Also, it has removed Singapore and Brunei from its entry-ban list of countries. However, India, United Kingdom, Tunisia, Iran and Pakistan are among those still on the banned countries list.


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Printable version | Sep 18, 2021 5:17:02 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/low-covid-19-case-fatality-rates-in-gulf-countries-provide-ray-of-hope-for-keralites-looking-to-return/article35578397.ece

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