Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 1,431 new cases reported; mask up, doctors urge
A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.
Here's a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:
UAE reports 1,431 Covid-19 cases, 1,652 recoveries, 2 deaths
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 1,431 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,652 recoveries. Two deaths were also reported. More than 103,000 new Covid-19 tests were carried out, taking the total to over 11.2 million tests so far. The UAE on Tuesday crossed the 100,000 mark in the total number of recovered cases while marking a 15 per cent increase in recovery rate in just one week, health authorities announced. The country also reported the highest number of Covid-19 infections on a single day -- 1,315 -- along with two deaths.
Dogs to sniff out Covid-19 cases at Sharjah airport
Sniffer dogs could soon be used to detect Covid-19 cases among travellers at the Sharjah International Airport. The police have trialled the initiative by deploying some K9 dogs at the airports with "great success", according to a top officer. Lieutenant-Colonel Dr Ahmed Adel Al Maamari, Head of the K9 Security Inspection Department, Sharjah Police, said the dogs were trained to sniff out cases after they were made to smell test samples in a "special room designated for this purpose". The officer said K9 dogs are currently used to secure sea, air and land ports. The unit has 80 dogs and 32 trainers. "The dogs can swiftly locate drugs as their sense of smell is 50 times sharper than that of humans. They can help in locating missing people, drugs, fugitives, explosives, stolen items, and also search for bodies in cases of disasters."
Mask up, doctors urge as UAE reports highest Covid-19 tally
Doctors have appealed to residents to not lower their guards as the UAE on Wednesday reported 1,431 new Covid-19 cases - its highest ever. It was the second consecutive day that the country recorded its highest single-day cases. Referring to how residents have started becoming complacent, Dr Abhilash Ramachandran Nair, an internal medicine specialist at Aster Hospital, Qusais, said: "When people go to restaurants, many take off their masks while waiting for their food to arrive. Arriving at dining outlets almost becomes an excuse for people to lower their masks and start talking." He explained that the risk of infection is high, particularly in closed spaces.
UAE takes steps to improve air quality inside buildings
As Covid-19 prompted the world to pay attention to both sanitation and ventilation, the UAE has started setting indoor air quality standards for its towers and skyscrapers, an official has said. At a webinar hosted by Khaleej Times, Anwaar Al Shimmari, Chief Innovation Officer at the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, said: "We are going to set milestones, KPIs and wellness standards for buildings to maintain good air quality. The private sector also needs to consider this for the sake of their staff and tenants' wellbeing." Certifications are now being introduced in the UAE to show that developers are investing in good indoor air quality. Global studies about the pandemic have established a link between bad air quality and the spread of Covid-19 in some countries, Al Shimmari said.
Who has access to Covid-19 vaccine in the UAE?
As the UAE leads global efforts in developing a Covid-19 vaccine, thousands of its residents and citizens have already taken a jab - either as clinical trial volunteers or frontliners. The country started administering a jab in July, as it carried out the third and last phase of clinical trials for the inactivated Covid-19 vaccine developed by China's state-owned pharmaceutical company Sinopharm. Over 31,000 volunteered for the trials in just six weeks, including 1,000 residents with chronic diseases. On Monday, it was announced that the country is set to take part in another phase 3 clinical trial - this time for the Russian Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Russian authorities licensed the jab for domestic use in August and it is currently being tested on 40,000 volunteers in Moscow.
Ras Al Khaimah wedding venues found compliant with Covid-19 precautions
Out of 46 wedding venues inspected in Ras Al Khaimah, only one hall was shut over Covid-19 safety violations, authorities said on Wednesday. The rest - or 99 per cent - were found compliant with precautionary measures. Undercover inspectors started visiting the emirate's wedding halls in July, soon after they reopened with stringent safety measures in place. Ras Al Khaimah's department of economic development inspected a total of 45 wedding halls and one tent, said Faisal Alyoon, manager for the control and trade protection department. "These visits were meant to ensure wedding venues' compliance with the rules that were set to prevent the spread of Covid-19."
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