In Dubai’s Covid vaccine scramble, Sikhs serve doses to all. At regular intervals, the crowds of young Southeast Asian workers vying for a place in the queue outside the Sikh temple in Dubai could mean one thing: free food.
The foundation of the world’s fifth-largest religion with more than 50,000 followers in the United Arab Emirates is “langar,” the practice of serving home-cooked hot food to anyone in need. It would be helpful in Dubai, where millions of low-wage workers from Asia, Africa and elsewhere were contributing to economic power.
But in the past few days, Sikhs in Dubai have sold their spicy rice and dal for what has become a coveted prize: 5,000 Chinese vaccine guns given to people of all ages and backgrounds. As the coronavirus epidemic rises to unprecedented heights in the UAE, residents are struggling to find a cure for the world’s second-fast inoculation drive.
“We have found many people who want to take the vaccine but are having difficulty,” said Surender Singh Kandhari, the temple chairman said.
Kandhari said senior medical personnel who had failed to vaccinate elsewhere due to shortages and new restrictions were looking for jabs in the parking garage at the temple on Monday. “This is the only way we can work for the community,” he said.
The UAE, with a vaccination campaign following only Israel, has donated 4.4 million guns to a country of another ten million. Many Western countries are setting goals that will reduce the distribution of vaccines. But the UAE has immediately authorized the emergency use of a shot by state-owned company Sinopharm for anyone over the age of 16, without a lack of information supporting its safety and performance.
Dubai, which has opened the doors for travelers fleeing hard locks at home, has an expanded security bank Covid-19 to save its dry economy. The worst of the disease has infected more than 329,000 people and killed 930.
But as elsewhere in the world, food shortages met with a national campaign. In the wake of the shortage of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and skyrocketing virus, the government announced on Sunday that it would temporarily restrict vaccination to residents and citizens over the age of 60 or with chronic health conditions. Many internationals found that their employment had been abruptly canceled.
Sikhs approached with a challenge. The powerful ministers of the Sikh shrine in Dubai have entered into an agreement with Tamouh healthcare company to handle Chinese jab for thousands of civilian drivers, restaurant clerks, and doctors who may find it difficult to vaccinate.
No one on Monday shared the complaints of health professionals about the effectiveness of the device. There was a refreshing feeling of relief as men and women stepped out of the golden temple into the bright winter sun.
“It’s much better to think you’re infected and get a vaccine, whatever you can get,” said Suleman Yakoob Gangad, a 51-year-old driver in Dubai, recalling the fear he felt when his roommate was tested for the disease in his living room. where four staff members filled the room. “We have to think like that to keep ourselves and others safe.”