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More than 19.4 million Covid-19 tests have been carried out in the UAE so far.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 1,226 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,611 recoveries. Three deaths were also reported.

As many as new 140,051 Covid-19 tests were carried out, taking the total number of tests carried out in the country to nearly 19.4 million so far.

In a statement, the ministry stressed its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment. The UAE has conducted over 19.4 million tests till date as part of the country's massive screening programmes to combat the spread of Covid-19. However, the ministry has urged the public to follow all preventive guidelines.

Over 1.69 million people have died after contracting coronavirus since the outbreak emerged in China last December. Several Gulf countries have in the past couple of weeks rolled out Covid-19 vaccination programmes. The six-member GCC — which includes Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman — have so far recorded more than one million novel coronavirus cases, including over 9,000 deaths.

UAE-based airlines Emirates, Etihad and Air Arabia have suspended flights to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Oman. The move came after the three Gulf countries shut their borders over a new, more infectious strain of Covid-19 that's spreading in Europe. While the UAE is yet to make a formal announcement about travel caps to and from the UK, GCC nations, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Kuwait, have closed their borders as of Monday (December 21).

Authorities have asked British nationals to avoid all kinds of non-essential travel. However, UAE-based expatriates who have already travelled back home, UK citizens currently visiting the UAE, and those planning festive season trips are all in a state of flux.

Meanwhile, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge has made negative Covid-19 PCR test result compulsory for students aged 12 years and above to physically attend face-to-face classes of the next academic term in Abu Dhabi. The Adek has also made Covid-19 PCR testing mandatory for teachers and school staff.