DUBAI, 17 January 2022 – Updates on current coronavirus protocols, from regular testing on site and waiting times for the booster shot to new guidelines regarding isolation after contact with a positive case, have been addressed at two Q&A sessions with experts from Dubai’s COVID-19 Command and Control Centre (CCC), Expo 2020 Dubai Commissioner Generals and pavilion delegates
The discussions, held over the past two weeks, were moderated by HE Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director General, Expo 2020 Dubai, with speakers Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif, Chairman of Dubai’s COVID-19 Command and Control Centre and Vice Chancellor of Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU); Professor Alawi AlSheikh-Ali, Deputy Director General of DHA and Chief Scientist of Dubai’s COVID Command and Control Centre; and Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi, Head of Testing and Vaccination at Dubai’s COVID Command and Control Centre and at Expo 2020 Dubai on hand to answer queries.
Bob Clark, Commissioner General of the USA at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “Thanks to the openness and science-based approach of the UAE, all participants in Expo 2020 Dubai have been able to react quickly and responsibly to the changing situation, allowing us to welcome visitors with confidence, safe in the knowledge they and our staff are safe.”
Matic Volk, Commissioner General of Slovenia at Expo 2020 Dubai said: “We believe Expo 2020 Dubai and the UAE authorities have managed the COVID-19 situation extremely well, with very clear protocols, first-rate vaccination coverage and widespread testing. For us, it’s all about collaboration, and the opportunity to talk to top health authorities and experts first-hand has further enhanced this open and effective partnership.”
The health experts praised Expo 2020 Dubai staff and participants for responding to the robust preventative measures, including wearing masks, social distancing and testing.
Dr Amer Ahmad Sharif said: “Without this community… and response from every single one of you, we wouldn’t have reached where we are today. A balance between lives and livelihoods has been the cornerstone of what we’ve done right from the beginning. Our leadership wanted us to make sure the health and safety of every citizen, resident and tourist is the priority. In addition to that, the social and economic lives have to continue in a balanced manner. Those have been our guiding principles from the beginning of the pandemic.”
Professor Alawi AlSheikh-Ali said: “Managing the pandemic is the result of the collective value of all these interventions; it’s not a single tool that will keep us safe. The outcome is more than the sum of its individual parts. You get a lot of synergy by deploying all these tools together.”
Echoing that sentiment, His Excellency, Dimitri Kerkentzes, Secretary General of the Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), the governing body of World Expos, said: “Thanks to the UAE leadership’s robust and agile response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Expo 2020 Dubai’s visitors and staff feel reassured while being a part of the largest major global event to be held since the start of the pandemic. This is demonstrated by visitation, with Expo 2020 Dubai in its first three months safely and responsibly receiving more than 9 million visits and welcoming in excess of 9,000 government officials. Expo 2020 Dubai is a remarkable achievement for the UAE that has been made possible by global solidarity, close cooperation and resilience on all levels.”
The largest global gathering since the start of the pandemic, Expo 2020’s COVID-19 safety measures prioritise the safety of visitors and everyone working on site. Safety protocols include mandatory mask-wearing – indoors and outdoors – for visitors, staff and participants, and on-site PCR testing facilities for Country Pavilion staff, frontline workers and entertainers.
All Expo and International Participant staff, volunteers, contractors and service providers must be vaccinated, while visitors ages 18 and above must present proof of any vaccinations, or a negative PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours. Additionally, all Expo staff are also required to have the booster, and the UAE mandates a minimum of six months after the second dose of the vaccine.
Currently ranked as the most-vaccinated country in the world, the UAE has hit the No 2 spot on Bloomberg’s COVID Resilience Ranking, a monthly snapshot of how the virus is being managed the most effectively, with minimal social and economic upheaval.]