DUBAI: Expo 2020 Dubai recently reported three work casualties, bringing up the number of deaths to six workers since 2015.
“Unfortunately, we had three worker-related deaths due to COVID-19. That was during the pandemic,” Sconaid McGeachin, Expo representative, briefed. Their team also revealed that 72 employees were seriously injured while construction was going on.
International projects in the region have always received scrutiny and ire from various groups criticising the use of low paid migrant workers in horrible conditions. But events like the Expo 2020 and Qatar’s turn as FIFA 2022 hosts have magnified issues twice. Overcrowding in migrant worker quarters was one of the main reasons infection rates soared in the Gulf, but Expo 2020 says worker accommodation is being managed to avoid such issues.
The country has one of the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns ongoing, with more than 80 per cent of the population immunised against the novel virus. And now, UAE is betting that at least 25 million people will be entering the metropolis solely to attend the Expo. Visitors above 18 years should have proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test, for which they also have testing facilities on site.