Technology, innovation power GCC's high COVID-19 recovery rate

The UAE and other GCC states have derived significant benefits from investing in technology and smart systems in their fight against the coronavirus.

The GCC region currently enjoys a COVID-19 recovery rate higher than the global average, thanks in part to the innovations and digital connectivity that the Gulf states have introduced since the pandemic begun, a new research from revealed.

Figures released by CoronaTracker showed that 81.4 percent of the people infected in Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman have now made a full recovery, well above the global figure of 57 percent.

Bahrain leads the table with an 89.2 percent recovery rate, followed by Kuwait (84.2 percent), UAE (86.8 percent), Saudi Arabia (80.2 percent) and Oman (66.7 percent).

So far, countries in the GCC region have reported more than 500,000 coronavirus cases. Saudi Arabia has topped the list, with more than 250,000 cases, followed by Qatar (107,037), Kuwait (60,434), Oman (69,887) and UAE (57,498).

The Gulf region had previously earned praise from the World Health Organisation (WHO) for its collective early, rapid and robust response to the outbreak. 

The GCC states closed their borders and shutdown commercial and public venues in March in a bid to contain the spread of the virus last March. Saudi Arabia banned foreign pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

However, besides implementing one of the world’s strictest lockdowns, innovation contributed to the region’s efficiency in managing the pandemic.

“Technological innovation and digital connectivity played an equally crucial role. In the UAE, police deployed smart helmets capable of scanning temperatures of hundreds of people every minute,” CoronaTracker said in a statement.

“Bahrain, meanwhile, has used multilingual robots on isolation wards to check body temperatures, administer medicines, serve meals and sterilise treatment rooms with beams of ultraviolet light. Both Bahrain and UAE lead much of the world in testing rates, ranking fifth and sixth, respectively, globally for rate of tests per million people,” it added.

The UAE government had earlier launched a contact-tracing app, Al Hosn, that helps authorities identify individuals who have come into contact with potentially infected people.




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