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Combating coronavirus: UAE conducts over 6 million Covid-19 tests till date

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on August 19, 2020
covid-19, coronavirus, UAE cases, ministry of health

(Photo by Shihab/Khaleej Times)

The UAE on Tuesday, August 18, recorded 365 new cases, 115 recoveries and two deaths.

The UAE has conducted a total of six million tests till date as part of the country's massive screening programmes to combat the spread of Covid-19, a top official has announced.

Minister of Health and Community Protection Abdul Rahman Al Owais said the country has witnessed an alarming increase in daily cases, the rate of which indicates a surge in infections in the coming period.

"By monitoring and tracking cases and following up on health authorities, it has been observed there is an alarming increase in the number of daily cases compared to previous days, by 136 cases," Al Owais said.

Addressing a virtual Press briefing on Tuesday, the minister said most of the cases were caused by gatherings resulting from family and social visits without compliance to precautionary measures such as social distancing and wearing masks.

The UAE on Tuesday recorded 365 new cases, 115 recoveries and two deaths. A total of 59,759 tests were conducted while the number of active cases in the country stood at 6,631.

The UAE leads the world in per million Covid tests. The country quickly ramped up its testing infrastructure, and has managed to control the spread effectively. The country has established 14 drive-through testing centres in all seven emirates in addition to press testing centreers in Sharjah, Ajman, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Fujairah.

Talking about the strides the UAE is taking in terms of finding solutions to defeat the virus, Al Owais said the UAE government continues to support scientific research, especially medical research. And in line with this strategy, the ocountry has recently launched Dubai's first independent biomedical research centre - Mohammed Bin Rashid Medical Research Institute - that will focus on researching on communicable diseases in the UAE, in addition to Covid-19.

The minister said such initiatives prove that the UAE is actively contributing to global health security and that it seeks to empower the scientific and research sector's contribution to global efforts.

Talking about the successful results emerging from the Covid-19 vaccine trials being carried out in the country, he said: " We are witnessing a remarkable development in the third phase of clinical trials of a potential Covid-19 vaccine in various regions of the country. The results are very reassuring, and no side- effects were recorded on the volunteers. .We would like to thank all volunteers who have participated in these trials and would encourage more to come forward and volunteer for these vaccine trials as this will be beneficial not only to the community of the UAE, but to millions of people around the world."

Beware of misleading products in market

Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesperson for the UAE government, has warned residents against some commercial products in the market that claim to be effective in eradicating the Covid-19 virus. These he said are all false claims and people must not buy any such product without the validation of Ministry of Health and Prevention.

He said: "Some people think that chlorine dioxide gas is suitable for treating viruses, so they expand the use of chlorine in other matters, which may cause lung, kidney and heart problems. We urge the public not to use any such product without consulting the specialists."

Avoid indoor sports with more people involved

Al Hammadi said that it should be noted that the risk of acquiring an infection increases whenever sport or exercise includes more participants who have to be in close proximity to each other.

"Outdoor activities are less dangerous than indoor activities. In the case of an indoor activity, participants must be organised to prevent any congestion, as well as ensuring a continuous steriliszation process for sports facilities. For example, tennis is not as dangerous as basketball, and team sports such as football are more likely to spread the infection than individual sports such as solo running and weightlifting."

He said that sportsmen breathe more intensely than others, which increases the chances of transmitting the virus through droplets coming out of them to others, therefore, it is necessary to adhere to wearing a mask in the absence of the element of physical distancing.

saman@khaleejtimes.com 

 


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