How Dubai has become the Covid superspreader capital of the world after tourists flocked there for boozy mayhem
DUBAI is being blamed for spreading Covid across the globe after tourists flocked there to party.
The city has seen a quadrupling of cases and is facing questions after opening itself to boozy New Year superspreader mayhem for revellers stuck in lockdowns.
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Partygoers who flocked there for sunbathing and cocktails were pictured without masks in bars and on yachts on New Year’s Eve.
“The new year shenanigans in Dubai were an obvious superspreader event,” one expatriate doctor told the Financial Times.
“After that, cases have gone up quickly and we have the new variant too.”
Dubai has also been a lure for Brit social media stars, who have faced a backlash for jetting to the sunny holiday spot during the UK's lockdown.
They face a dash to get home after UAE has been added to a 'red list' of countries where travel to the UK is banned when the mutated strains of the coronavirus were linked back to Dubai.
The effect of Dubai’s relaxed attitude is now being felt across the globe.
In Israel, the authorities said more than 900 travellers returning from Dubai have been infected with the coronavirus, creating a chain of infections numbering more than 4,000 people.
There have also been infections in the Philippines and Denmark, whose celebrities similarly travelled to Dubai for the New Year.
Scottish football team Celtic’s decision to go to Dubai in January led to a total of 16 players and coaching staff having to self-isolate because of a positive Covid-19 test.
The warm weather training trip came under fire from Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
According UAE-based doctor confirmed the infection rate rose sharply during Christmas and New Year celebrations.
The medic told the Telegraph that the cases “started increasing from the end of December onwards”.
The infection in rate in Israel comes and UAE, of which Dubai is a part, established diplomatic relations in September.
One Israeli tourist said: "Everyone was dying to let their hair down after a hell of a year. It was not a surprise that when New Year came everyone just wanted to have a good time."
With daily cases now reaching 4000, Dubai appears now to be reversing its relaxed approach.
It has topped live entertainment at bars, halted nonessential operations, limited wedding sizes and ordered gyms to increase space between those working out.
Dubai also now requires coronavirus testing for all those flying into its airport and the city is now also offering Pfizer-BioNTech’s vaccine.
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