DUBAI: The UAE on Tuesday recorded 3,491 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the highest daily count since the start of the pandemic, and five more deaths related to the disease.

Officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention said the total number of cases in the country has reached 260,223, while the death toll stands at 756. A total of 231,675 patients have recovered from the disease, including 3,311 in the past 24 hours..

The ministry reported that more than 2.065 million people have been vaccinated in the UAE, a rate of 20.88 doses per 100 residents. The country is second only to Israel in terms of vaccination rate.

Health officials said the impressive results of the nation’s vaccination effort so far can be attributed to the “success of the COVID-19 national campaign and the great response to the campaign from all members of society.”

Health Minster Abdul Rahman Al-Owais said: “Reaching this record number within a short period reflects the exceptional efforts of our wise leadership in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, as well as the concerted efforts of the government and all state institutions and our front-line workers to provide the COVID-19 vaccine for all in various regions of the country.”

He called on all who are eligible for the vaccine to register for it at one of the vaccination centers set up across the country as part of the effort to achieve the goal of immunizing more than 50 percent of the population by April.

In other virus-related news, the Ministry of Education announced that distance learning for schools will continue for an additional two weeks. The decision to extend the duration of the precautionary measure was made in response to the recent increases in daily cases, and in the interests of safeguarding the health of children. Pupils have been studying remotely since the start of the year.

“We have the ability to respond quickly in the smooth transition between physical learning and distance learning for about 1.2 million students,” said ministry spokesman Hazza Al-Mansoori. “With time, our country is increasing its uniqueness and success through the availability of a high-tech, smart educational structure and skilled educational cadres.” He added that students and parents have been very cooperative.

All decisions are based on constantly updated data and statistics, and in coordination with the authorities and leadership of the country, Al-Mansoori said, taking into account the views and opinions of parents and other segments of society. He called on those who work in education to be vaccinated as soon as possible to protect their students, families and society in general.

During daily inspection tours, officials from Dubai Economy issued fines to seven commercial establishments and warnings to another 12 over failures to adhere to COVID-19 precautions.

Dubai Municipality announced it has intensified its inspection campaigns. It said six businesses were ordered to close, 22 were fined and warnings were issued to 51 for not complying with precautionary measures.

Meanwhile, Department of Human Resources in Ajman issued a notice to all government agencies in the emirate informing them that from Feb. 2, all government employees must take a PCR test for COVID-19 every seven days, at their own expense, if they have not received the two doses of the vaccine that are required.

The order came a day after the UAE’s Federal Authority for Government Human Resources issued a notice to all ministries and federal entities amending the procedures for dealing with the pandemic. It also applies to outsourced employees and public-service companies.

Elsewhere, Kuwait reported 578 new cases of COVID-19, raising the total in the country to 158,822. The death toll rose to 950 after two additional deaths were reported in the previous 24 hours.

Oman’s health ministry confirmed 135 new cases and two deaths, bringing the national totals to 132,146 and 1,516, respectively.

In Bahrain the death toll stands at 362 after two more deaths were reported. The number of confirmed cases in the country increased by 320.

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