In the midst of an immunisation drive and a spike in COVID-19 infections, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has directed all licensed hospitals and one-day surgery clinics to suspend all non-urgent surgical procedures until February 19th. It has suspended some non-urgent elective dental services and has reduced the number of dental clinics which can open. The ruler of Dubai has also replaced the head of DHA, without explanation.
Authorities in Dubai have issued multiple measures to boost COVID-19 safety in the Emirate. The new rules range from more PCR testing for passengers and restricting healthcare services.
UAE residents and GCC citizens and tourists must all have a negative PCR test taken no longer than 72 hours before arrival. This has changed from 96 hours. Arrivals from certain countries (based on the pandemic situation in those countries) require an additional test on arrival in Dubai. UAE citizens only have to take a test on arrival.
The new measures come as daily COVID-19 safety inspection reports showed a marked increase in the number of violations of rules.
Dubai pubs and bars are closed, while entertainment is cancelled and hotels can only operate at 70% capacity.
The DHA has directed all licensed hospitals and one-day surgery clinics to suspend all non-urgent surgical procedures until February 19. The list of elective surgeries includes, but is not limited to, neurosurgical procedures, fractures and corrective orthopaedic procedures, cardiological and radiological interventions, stone and urological stent removals.