Coronavirus news bulletin from UAE: 995 new cases reported, Dubai cuts PCR test price to Dh150; 25k violations recorded in 15 days

UAE coronavirus , Covid-19, China, warning, Coronavirus outbreak, lockdown, pandemic, Dubai, new cases, Covid-19 death, recoveries

Dubai - A round-up of major developments related to Covid-19 across the country.

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Ismail Sebugwaawo

Published: Wed 30 Sep 2020, 8:14 AM

Last updated: Thu 1 Oct 2020, 9:15 AM

Here's a round-up of all the latest Covid-19 developments you need to know:
UAE reports 995 Covid-19 cases, 1,076 recoveries, 3 deaths 
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention on Tuesday reported 995 cases of the Covid-19 coronavirus, along with 1,076 recoveries. Three deaths were also reported. More than 98,000 new Covid-19 tests have been carried out, the ministry said, taking the total to over 9.5 million tests. In a major development yesterday, it was revealed that pre-travel Covid-19 test results from four laboratories in India will no longer be accepted in Dubai, according to diplomatic sources and Air India Express. These RT-PCR testing laboratories include Suryam Lab in Jaipur, Microhealth Labs in Kerala, Dr P Bhasin Pathlabs Ltd in Delhi, and the Noble Diagnostic Centre in Delhi. Negative test results from these Indian Council of Medical Research-approved centres shall be deemed invalid, Air India Express announced. 

UAE records nearly 25,000 Covid-19 violations in 15 days
Authorities in the UAE detected 24,894 violations of Covid-19 safety measures during the first 15 days of September, a senior government official has revealed. Dr Saif Al Dhaheri, the official spokesperson for the National Crisis Emergency and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), said failure to wear face masks topped the list of violations. Having more than three persons in a vehicle was the next top violation during this period. "The highest violations were detected in Dubai, followed by Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ajman, Fujairah, Umm Al Quwain and Ras Al Khaimah," he said during a Press briefing on Tuesday.

Two arrested for forging Covid-19 test results in UAE 
Two employees at a Covid-19 screening centre in the UAE have been arrested for forging several test results, authorities have said. Investigations confirmed that the duo used their jobs to falsify test results for a fee, the official spokesperson for the Emergency, Crisis and Disaster Prosecution has said in a statement issued to the state news agency, Wam. The staff members were found to have been altering images of the negative test results of other people. Then, the people who paid them used these fake results to enter Abu Dhabi. As soon as their scheme was busted, the Dubai Police arrested the employees and referred them to the prosecution.

Sharjah airport frontline staff gets first dose of Covid-19 vaccine
Frontline staff of Sharjah Airport International have received their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, authorities announced on Tuesday. Carried out by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) in cooperation with the Sharjah Government, the vaccination campaign is part of the emirate's efforts to protect the frontliners in essential sectors. Sharjah International Airport is the first authority in the emirate to get its staff vaccinated, after the UAE approved the Covid-19 jab for emergency use earlier this month. So far, a number of health officials and health workers have received the shot, besides the 31,000 residents who volunteered for the vaccine's phase 3 clinical trials.
Dubai slashes price of PCR test to Dh150 at DHA facilities
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Tuesday announced that it has reduced the price of the nasal swab Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for Covid-19 to Dh150. However, the reduced prices will only apply to government hospitals for now, DHA confirmed. Private hospitals and clinics will charge not more than Dh250 for the test, the authority added. DHA had brought down the price of Covid-19 PCR tests to Dh250 for private and public clinics and hospitals on September 13. It said the move is aimed at making the tests more accessible to the public and encouraging people to get screened as a preventive measure.
Three new Covid-19 testing centres open in Dubai
Three new Covid-19 testing centres have opened in Dubai. The centres, each with a capacity to carry out 550 tests a day, are located in Al Rashidiya Majlis, Al Hamriya Port Majlis and Jumeirah 1 Port Majlis, the Dubai Health Authority said. They will operate throughout the week, from 11am to 6pm. This takes to five the number of centres dedicated for Covid-19 testing, including those in Al Shabab Al Ahli and Al Nasr Clubs. Dr Farida Al Khaja, CEO of DHA's Clinical Support Services and Nursing Sector, revealed that the three new centres have begun operating from today. The public can now get their PCR tests done at the centres after completing the required registration and booking an appointment through the DHA toll-free number 800342.

Massage, oriental bath facilities to reopen in Abu Dhabi with safety guidelines
Massage and oriental bath facilities in Abu Dhabi will reopen under strict safety guidelines, including periodic Covid-19 testing for the staff, authorities have announced. The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) issued a circular on Monday, which allows owners and managers of massage and oriental bath centres in the Emirate to resume their activities after temporary closure to curb the spread of Covid-19. The circular urges owners to follow the instructions, guidelines, and precautionary measures issued by the Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Committee to curb the spread of Covid-19.
Covid-19 could 'break' your heart, no matter how fit you are: Doctors 
Covid-19 can leave a person more susceptible to heart-related issues, no matter how young or fit he is, doctors have warned as they reiterated the need to take precautions. Explaining the link between Covid-19 and cardiovascular disease (CVD) on World Heart Day on Tuesday, Dr Brajesh Mittal, interventional cardiologist at Medcare Hospital, Dubai, said: "When Covid-19 occurs, it affects the heart in two ways. At the time of infection, it can cause muscle damage and infection of the heart muscles directly. "Or, it can indirectly affect the heart and other organs by releasing some pro-inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which harm the linings of small blood vessels and induce clotting, making a patient prone to a heart attack in the future."
Abu Dhabi researchers develop saliva virus test that's '100 times more sensitive'
A team of researchers in Abu Dhabi has developed a new saliva Covid-19 test that could prove to be "100 times more sensitive" than the commonly used tests. Dr Youssef Idaghdour, an assistant professor of biology at the NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), told Khaleej Times that his research team and collaborators have demonstrated that with the new technique, it is possible to overcome two of the main issues in the standard testing protocols: False negatives and the challenge of testing asymptomatic individuals carrying low viral loads. The research has been backed by Abu Dhabi's Department of Health, Dr Idaghdour said. False negatives happen because, sometimes, there's not enough viral load in a given sample, he explained.

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