Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesman for the UAE Government, speaking at Monday's coronavirus briefing.
Abu Dhabi - Government spokesman Al Hammadi says the UAE is driving research and studies in a bid to protect millions around the world.
Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesman for the UAE Government, on Monday announced at a media briefing the latest figures and developments in respect of Covid-19 in the UAE.
He started by saying that the number of new daily tests has reached 58,953. These tests have revealed 179 new cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total cases registered in the country to 62,704. All new cases are undergoing medical treatment, Al Hammadi said.
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He also announced 198 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 56,766, while no deaths were recorded and 5,581 patients are currently receiving treatment.
Al Hammadi explained during the briefing that vaccines are an effective way to address any pandemic. He stressed that the UAE is a global pioneer in starting research and studies aimed at developing a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19 in order to preserve the lives of millions of people around the world.
Al Hammadi added that the vaccine process is done by injecting a dead or weak microbial material into the body in order to stimulate the immune system to produce the tools required to defend the body. Through this stimulation, the body remembers how to fight a disease in the future.
The spokesman noted that some vaccines give the body lifelong immunity, such as the measles vaccine, and some provide immunity for one year, such as the influenza vaccine. This is due to the evolution of the virus and its attack methods, which means some vaccines need to be evolved and renewed accordingly.
He indicated that the ultimate goal of vaccines is to eradicate the disease. Vaccinations have led to the complete elimination of the smallpox disease and humanity is very close to eliminating polio globally, too.
Al Hammadi said there are vaccines against chronic diseases such as hepatitis C, cirrhosis and some cancers, while some provide protection against HIV.
Al Hammadi listed three benefits that vaccines provide to humans when it comes to infectious diseases. The main one is the protection from infection, preventing the emergence of disease symptoms when infected and the protection of transfer between the infected to the uninfected.
The spokesman answered a series of questions during the briefing, where he revealed that the increase in cases of 30 per cent during the last period is due to social visits and not following the preventive measures.
He stressed that the authorities monitor daily all the variables related to the numbers of cases across various nationalities in the country, stressing that the increase in the number of infections among citizens has been announced after this worrying indicator has been monitored, in order to preserve the health and safety of everyone.
Al Hammadi explained that some people mistakenly link the opening of markets, restaurants and commercial centres as a reason for the increase instead of the home gatherings. However, gatherings that are held in public places are monitored by the authorities and take into account all the instructions and preventive measures such as social spacing, heat detection and sterilisation, unlike household gatherings which are not monitored and preventive measures such as wearing masks are often overlooked.
With regards to the reliability of the laser blood test to diagnose Covid-19, Al Hammadi said that this type of test helps to quickly identify any changes in the blood, which may indicate infection, but does not prove it definitively. He stressed that the polymerase chain reaction test, also known as the PCR test, is the most accurate test to establish a diagnosis and recovery.
Al Hammadi explained that the immune system in the human body, once becoming infected with the virus, develops a defensive reaction that causes a change in the blood and this process takes a period of three to 10 days. The first type of defensive reaction to be produced is known as IgM, which is fast but temporary and is present in the blood. A recent infection also can mean that the person is still carrying the virus.
The spokesman added that the immune system evolves its reaction over a period of one to two weeks after infection, and produces a second type of defence, which is IgM, which constitutes sustainable or long-term immunity. Its presence in the human body can indicate a previous infection even if the individual had no symptoms. It would indicate that the individual has immunity to the virus, either because of a previous infection or because of taking a vaccination.
Al Hammadi stressed that this process means it is possible for a person to carry the virus for several days before the body develops immunity, which may take a period of one to three weeks after the infection occurs.