New Covid strain: UAE doctors offer tips to stay safe

Dubai - Follow all standard Covid safety precautions strictly, residents told.

(File photo)
(File photo)

By Nandini Sircar

Published: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 5:45 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Dec 2020, 5:51 PM

Medics in the UAE are urging residents to be more careful, advising them to follow standard Covid-19 hygiene precautions more strictly.

This came as the UAE reported a "limited number" of cases of the new Covid strain that originated in the UK.

The medics contended that residents should be cautious during the New Year celebrations and adhere to the guidelines of local authorities, specifically with regard to get-togethers during festivities.

ALSO READ: New Covid strain in UAE: All we know so far

The healthcare professionals also pointed out that “mutations always happen in viruses and therefore, it does not warrant any extra fear".

Dr Mohammed Harriss, specialist – pulmonology, Medcare Hospital, Sharjah said: “The new strain by severity seems as equal to the previous one but presently, there is no evidence to suggest that it is more fatal than the earlier one. Current evidence suggests that this mutant may spread very fast compared to the old strain. Same standard precautions like hand washing, mask and social distancing in a stricter manner is advisable.”

Dr Aarthi Cuddalore Kumaravelu, specialist internal medicine, Aster Clinic, Muwaileh Sharjah, opined: “Travellers should comply with the precautionary measures, including home quarantine, not going out in the public, checking their health condition and going to a hospital if they have symptoms.”

He added: “Current research indicates concerns… that the recent change in the spike protein of the virus, could possibly mean it could be more infectious and probably more transmissible. Therefore, as we prepare for the new year, everyone needs to be extra cautious and strictly follow Covid-19 safety and protective measures. It is always wise to be safe than sorry.”

The National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) reiterated that residents should remain calm and stick to all the related safety measures announced earlier.

Additionally, doctors highlighted “research has not indicated the ability of any of these mutations to foil vaccine response”.

Despite vaccination, it is important that everyone continued observing hygiene measures like wearing face masks, hand washing, maintaining social distance and use of hand sanitisers.

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