The United Arab Emirates saw a drop in its daily numbers on Thursday with 563 new coronavirus cases confirmed over the past 24 hours, raising the total to 32,532, according to the Ministry of Health and Prevention.
The country had been recording around 700-900 new daily cases since the government eased restrictions earlier this month.
Meanwhile, the number of recoveries continued to increase reaching 16,685, after the ministry confirmed an additional 314 people had recovered.
The health ministry also announced the death of three people who had previously tested positive for the virus in the UAE. The relatively low death toll has reached 258.
An additional 38,000 COVID-19 tests were conducted by the ministry over the past 24 hours as part of the country’s efforts in expanding the testing capacity. Over 2 million tests have been administered in the UAE so far. The country has a population of 9.63 million.
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The UAE has slowly been easing restrictions and lockdowns that were implemented to slow the spread of the deadly virus. Earlier this month, the government reduced a 24-hour lockdown that was part of a national disinfection program. Restaurants, malls and businesses were allowed to resume working hours as long as strict preventative measures were followed, including only being allowed to operate at 30 percent capacity in order to limit crowding.
On Monday, Dubai announced it will gyms, cinemas and other business to reopen as well.
The announcement came after a virtual meeting of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, headed by Crown Prince Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, to evaluate the current health, economic and social situations that the emirate faces. The committee made the decision to allow businesses to resume operations without compromising strict precautionary and preventative measures implemented.
All individuals will still be required to wear face masks as well as maintain social distancing requirements of no less than two meters while in public.
The following business are included in the latest reopening stage: Retail and wholesale shops, education and training institutes, children training centers, sports academies, indoor gyms, fitness clubs, cinemas and various leisure and entertainment activities.