UAE: Cold season may be causing spike in Covid-19 cases, say doctors

Typically, viruses are known to thrive more in the winter months, which then leads to increase in transmission rate.

Covid-19 appears to be spreading faster in the winter season, doctors in the UAE have said, amid concerns over the new and contagious virus variants emerging across the world.

Coronavirus is hanging in the air longer because of cold and dry conditions leading to an increasing chance of transmission — a development that could explain the surge in the number of positive cases, despite the UAE being a global leader in administering vaccines free of cost to its population.

As many as 109,587 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine were offered to citizens and residents alike in the last 24 hours, taking the total number of doses to 4,901,795 at a rate of 49.56 doses per 100 people.

New cases reported on Friday, on the other hand, stood at 3,307. Daily cases have remained higher than 3,000 since January 12, against the backdrop of a chilly season. On Friday, the lowest temperature was recorded in Al Dhafra at 8.5 degrees Celsius.

“Typically, viruses are known to thrive more in the winter months, which then leads to increase in transmission rate.”

Dr Nayzak Raoof, medical director, Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery, Dubai, said that even as the UAE is on the cusp of a 5-million vaccine dose milestone, people must not let up the fight against the pandemic. “Vaccination is the only way we can outdo the virus. However, given the surge in infections in the UAE, people should realise that it is not the time to let up our fight against Covid-19. We are on the final lap and victory is closer. The cost of negligence in this crucial time would be high. We must be wary of this. People, whether vaccinated or not, should strictly adhere to the precautionary measures.”

Dr Raoof said wearing masks is an effective tool against transmission. “Wearing masks, sanitising our hands, and maintaining social distancing can save us from getting infected. We shall practise this for some more time for a sooner return to our normal lives.”