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29th Jan 2021

Dubai blamed for surge in Covid-19 cases as holiday makers return home

Jade Hayden

People have been flocking to the UAE for the past few months.

Dubai is being blamed for a surge in Covid-19 cases after opening up to tourists over the New Year.

The United Arab Emirates has experienced a spike in cases, particularly in its ultra-modern shopping and partying city over the past few months. Now, international organisations fear that the nation is unable to handle the increase.

Similarly, Dubai is now being blamed for the increase in coronavirus cases internationally, as tourists were largely permitted to travel to and from the city over the New Year.

According to Associated Press, Dubai’s media office has said that the sheikhdom is doing everything possible to handle the pandemic in an appropriate way.

“After a year of managing the pandemic, we can confidently say the current situation is under control and we have our plans to surge any capacity in the health care system should a need rise,” they said.

This comes after Dubai’s former finance chief Nasser al-Shaikh tweeted on Thursday asking the current government to take control of the situation.

“The leadership bases its decisions on recommendations from the team, the wrong recommendations which put human souls in danger and negatively affect our society,” he said.

Dubai opened itself back up to tourism in July of last year and has since welcomed thousands of visitors to its shores. Among them were swathes of influencers who shared images of their trips all over social media over the Christmas break.

Among them was fitness influencer Sheridan Mordew who recently told This Morning that she travelled to the UAE to “motivate” her followers and for her own mental health.

“My clients depend on me to bring them motivation and happiness,” she said.

“My mental health was suffering, I thought I am not going to be able to start anything new sitting in the house.”

It wasn’t long before the UK banned all passengers from Dubai unless they had a negative Covid-19 test. On Friday, the government barred all direct flights to the UAE over the spread of a South African variant of the virus.

Cases in Dubai have now reached approximately 4,000 per day. New restrictions have since been announced in the city, banning live entertainment and increasing testing on arrival.

The Financial Times reports that local doctors are now concerned about a shortage of beds in the city, namely due to the celebrations over the festive period.

“The new year shenanigans in Dubai were an obvious super-spreader event,” a source told the publication.

“After that, cases have gone up quickly and we have the new variant too.”

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