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UAE posts world’s highest Covid-19 tests at 2.5m

ABU DHABI, June 7, 2020

The UAE Government has announced that its health entities have conducted more than 2.5 million tests for Covid-19 in the country, which is the highest worldwide.

Some 52,996 additional Covid-19 tests have been conducted among the UAE’s citizens and residents which resulted in the detection of 626 new cases, taking to 38,268 the total number of infections in the country, reported state news agency Wam.

This includes those receiving treatment, recovered cases, and deaths. A total of 724 patients have fully recovered from Covid-19 after receiving the necessary medical care, raising the total number of recoveries to 21,061.

The announcement was made during the regular media briefing held in Abu Dhabi, where Dr Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, the official spokesperson for the UAE Government, along with Dr Farida Al Hosani, the spokesperson for the state health sector, gave an update on the coronavirus-related developments and measures taken to mitigate its impact.

During the briefing, Dr Al Shamsi said that the government continues its efforts to protect all citizens and residents, and has adopted a series of decisions to alleviate the repercussions of this crisis on various pivotal sectors. This was reflected by the solidarity of the national efforts from day one at all levels to contain them, and the proactive approach to fighting the pandemic as well as expanding the scope of testing nationwide.

Dr Al Shamsi also announced the death of one patient from Covid-19, taking the total number of deaths to 275. "The number of Covid-19 cases still receiving treatment now stands at 16,932 from different nationalities," she added.

D. Al Hosani called upon the public to maintain calm and patience and refrain from circulating rumours, referring to the Attorney General's recent statement regarding enforcement of the law for violators. She also stressed the importance of adhering to preventive measures.

Dr Al Shamsi spoke about fake information and rumours and their role in unjustifiably triggering fear and panic among the public, in addition to chaos, which threatens the safety and stability of society.

She pointed at monitoring some fake news circulated on various social media platforms, in addition to some videos that include Covid-19 related tips and advice from non-specialists, and their predictions about the disease and its containment in the country.

She also called upon all segments of the society to receive news only from official sources and government agencies, as they are the sole sources to follow the latest developments and to follow social media channels of official agencies and accredited media.

Dr. Al Hosani spoke about the gradual return to work which would not succeed without community awareness and cooperation and adoption of a new lifestyle that takes into account the strict adherence to precautionary measures in public areas and workplaces.

"Although restrictions have been eased in some sectors and activities, individuals remain responsible for themselves and of the people around them. Continuing to be cautious and aware remains to be a key factor in these exceptional times," she said.

Fielding questions from the media sent via social media accounts, Al Hosani addressed a concern on home nursing and the possibility that it could lead to the spread of the virus as nurses move from home to home to provide care. She said the home nursing staff are considered a priority as they deal with important segments like the elderly and people of determination.

"All health centres have been instructed to conduct regular tests to the home nursing staff to ensure that they are free of any symptoms before their visits," she stated.

She also stressed that the families receiving home nursing care should not change the nurses and should ensure that old people and people of determination are tested for Covid-19 regularly, adding that arrangements can be made to test them at their homes.

Answering another question, Dr Al Hosani affirmed that no Covid-19 patients are discharged from the hospital without ensuring that they have fully recovered.

"According to updated scientific studies, the incubation period of Covid-19 starts two days before symptoms appear and continue for a maximum of eight days. After that, the patient is unlikely to be infected."

Dr Al Hosani said that it has not been scientifically proven that there is any harm or any side effects to wearing face masks, nor that it leads to suffocation for lack of oxygen.

"There are, however, some rules to be followed when wearing a face mask, including making sure that the mask is worn one time unless it is designed for reuse; that reused masks are cleaned thoroughly and replaced when worn for long times; that they are comfortable, and need not be touched frequently."

Dr Al Hosani pointed out that there was no need to admit Covid-19 patients who showed no symptoms into hospitals or put them under observation, saying that they were normally referred to the quarantine centres or asked to undergo home quarantine.

She also advised that when a person was having breathing difficulty, especially those with severe respiratory conditions that required immediate intervention, they should go to the nearest medical centre.

"On the same note, vulnerable patients, like the elderly with diabetes and a heart condition, must be taken to hospital if any symptoms, however minor, appear. Their conditions usually require quick intervention to avoid complications," she added.




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