Coronavirus: UAE reports 1,398 Covid-19 cases, 1,095 recoveries, 1 death

Over 174.5 million PCR tests have been conducted in the country so far

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Published: Wed 20 Jul 2022, 1:56 PM

Last updated: Wed 20 Jul 2022, 2:00 PM

The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Wednesday reported 1,398 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,095 recoveries and 1 death.

Total active cases stand at 17,804.

The new cases were detected through 258,676 additional tests.

The total number of cases in UAE on July 20 are 977,578, while total recoveries stand at 957,446. The death toll now stands at 2,328.

Over 174.5 million PCR tests have been conducted in the country so far.

A new study suggests that Omicron mutations increase the infectivity of SARS-CoV-2 virus-like particles and decrease antibody neutralisation.

This study was in the journal 'Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences' (PNAS) on July 19. It compares four variants of SARS-CoV-2 shows how the Omicron variant is more adept at entering cells and escaping neutralization from existing vaccines or prior infection, potentially contributing to the variant's high transmissibility.

Researchers examine the virus using virus-like particles (VLPs) that imitate the SARS-CoV-2 proteins' structural characteristics.

In contrast to the original B.1 strain, antibodies from the same individual who had received two vaccinations were up to 15 times less effective at neutralising Omicron. Nevertheless, the neutralising activity against Omicron was significantly increased from participants who had received a third mRNA vaccine within 16 to 21 days.

According to the findings, the authors hypothesise that Omicron may be particularly contagious in part because it is a harder strain to neutralise.

Notably, compared to ancestral variants, including Delta, Omicron is less likely to be neutralised, although antibodies in those who have gotten mRNA vaccines show better results than those with antibodies from other vaccines or previous infections. Booster shots raise Omicron's neutralisation titers, but they are still significantly lower than for earlier types. These results support the use of mRNA vaccination boosters to improve antibody-based protection against Omicron infections.

Meanwhile, speaking at the future of epidemics and biological risks forum in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, Obaid Rashid Al-Hussan Al Shamsi, Vice-Chairman of the National Emergency Crisis and Management Authority (NCEMA) said it was vital to study all predictions, develop proposed solutions so as to address the challenges that may be posed by the epidemics.

"The national efforts made in this forum seeks to develop a vision for a safe future aimed at ensuring the health and safety of the UAE community and to preserve the country's gains and achievements,” said Al Shamsi.

The two-day forum which kicked off on Tuesday was attended by several experts in the field of epidemiological and biological sciences.

The forum organised by NCEMA, aims to draw a common picture of future biological risks and threats through foresight and prediction in order to enhance the resilience of the country's sectors and develop their capabilities to ward off risks and mitigate their repercussions.

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