In the midst of global panic and several nationwide quarantines, the seven emirates are turning to unprecedented technological initiatives to both contain the dissemination of the pandemic and ensure that their communal protocols continue to run a smoothly as possible.
Virtual medical consultations
— هيئة الصحة بدبي (@DHA_Dubai) March 10, 2020
The ‘Doctor for Every Citizen’ initiative connects UAE residents and visitors to round-the clock, free COVID -19 video and voice-call consultations through a smartphone application (DHA).
Its’ aim is to minimize commutes to and from clinics, for those suspecting that they may have contracted the virus. The Dubai Health Authority created the app to enable remote, online consultations and serve as a platform for patients to communicate freely with healthcare professionals.
Thermal scanners at supermarkets and malls
Malls and supermarkets across the UAE are pre-scanning customers with airport-style thermal scanners to efficiently take note of their temperatures. Those with readings above health standards are consequently sent home or redirected to a nearby medical facility for further testing and care.
These establishments also stepped up deep-cleaning protocols to ensure public places can remain open and virus-free, through 24-hour cleaning teams and tools to disinfect shopping trolleys, lift buttons and food-court tables.
No-contact food delivery
All bars, pubs, lounges in the UAE have already received order to close, until the end of March at the earliest. Restaurants, are predicted to come next, however, even without legal restrictions, many Emiratis are opting for the safer option to eat at home for fear of contamination.
Local food delivery services are following the lead of those in the United States, seeking to meet the increasing need for social distancing, through contactless drop offs. Leaving the safely-sealed pre ordered bags onto the clients’ doorsteps avoids all human interaction. To take it one step further, Emiratis will be able to text the deliverer a picture of where they would like their meal to be dropped off in case their even their front-door seems too risky.
In addition to schools and office work shifting online, official government meetings are, at their turn, following suit. The UAE’s Crown Prince took to twitter the other day to announce:
“Today we were briefed by the COVID19 working group via video conference. We commend the immense efforts of the Emiratis working tirelessly for their Country. This teamwork and cooperation is at the core of our national strategy. God protect the UAE and the entire world.”