With several governments including Italy, Spain, and France now on mandatory lockdown, the rest of the world is now looking at countries that have effectively contained the outbreak from dealing more deaths and economic damage than it already has on a global scale.
And while the outbreak has yet to peak in many countries as per the World Health Organization (WHO), some have already mitigated the situation even before it reached an alarming level. Such is the case of the UAE, as pointed out by veteran TV host, comedian, and businessman, Steve Harvey.
Steve Harvey on COVID-19: The UAE is the ‘Safest Place in the World’
Harvey lauded the UAE government’s swift measures it has taken to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, calling it the “safest country in the world”, as shared in a report by The National.
In the latest episode of his radio program The Steve Harvey Morning Show on Thursday, the prominent TV personality shared that the UAE has among the lowest death and infectious rates worldwide.
Commenting on the UAE government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, Harvey said: “The safest place in the world right now is the UAE. They jumped on this thing right away.“
Harvey further explained, “It has a lot to do with their leadership. They’re serious. They love their people and will do everything to protect them and keep them safe.”
Below is a Tweet from the Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai’s Twitter account @abdullaalbasti recognizing the statement by Steve Harvey:
النجم العالمي ستيف هارفي @IAmSteveHarvey يثني على الإجراءات المتخذة في الإمارات لمكافحة #فيروس_كورونا ويقول الإمارات أأمن دولة في العالم في هذا الوقت.. اللهم لك الحمد والشكر على نعمة الإمارات وقيادتها pic.twitter.com/EoXuF85EXi
— عبدالله البسطي (@abdullaalbasti) March 20, 2020
The US celebrity and his guests on The Steve Harvey Morning Show, which is currently broadcast from Los Angeles, noted that the UAE has conducted “more coronavirus tests than anybody.”
Harvey continued to point out that the US government should have acted in a similar manner “instead of calling it [COVID-19] a hoax,” and delaying containment measures for weeks.
Harvey is no stranger to the UAE. The Original Kings of Comedy star was among the headliners of the 2019 Sharjah International Book Fair, along with Nobel Prize-winning novelist Orhan Pamuk and Oscar-winning Indian lyricist Gulzar. The Ball Room at the Expo Center Sharjah was full long before Harvey arrived for his talk on October 31. The US comedian and host of Family Feud gave some life advice to the young people of Sharjah and discussed his career in the entertainment business.
In other events, Harvey has also been spotted at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, who was with American political commentator Armstrong Williams in 2019 and alongside veteran comedians Dave Chapelle and Chris Tucker a year earlier.
COVID-19 in the UAE
The first reported case of COVID-19 in the country was identified on January 29. As of March 20 (Friday), there has been a total of 140 confirmed cases recorded.
In terms of the outbreak’s impact in the region, this number is relatively low in contrast to Bahrain and Qatar – the latter of which saw an increase of 238 cases in one day alone – both reporting more than the UAE. However, the trend is no different from elsewhere in the world as the numbers have been rising, with 15 cases announced on Wednesday (March 18).
In line with this, the government has been taking increasingly stringent steps aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.