Covid-19: Don’t let your guard down as cases rise


covid-19, coronavirus, health ministry, UAE covid cases

Dubai - Doctors have warned that a Covid-19 comeback could put tremendous pressure on the healthcare system.

by Anjana Sankar

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Published: Fri 28 Aug 2020, 8:16 PM

Last updated: Sat 29 Aug 2020, 8:29 AM

The UAE on Thursday reported 491 Covid-19 cases - the highest in nearly 50 days - sparking fears of a possible second wave in the country.

The total number of infections on Thursday marked a 23 per cent increase over the recorded cases on Wednesday that stood at 399. A total of 339 cases were reported on Tuesday, compared to 275 on Monday.

Doctors have warned that a Covid-19 comeback could put tremendous pressure on the healthcare system and have urged residents not to let their guards down.

"Covid has been with us, around us and it will stay with us for some time. It is the human nature to take it easy because we are used to it. We let our defences down because we are used to it now," said Dr Jean Marc Gauer, CEO, RAK Hospital.

He said people should not forget that they have not been exposed to the dangers of Covid because of the exemplary measures taken by the UAE government to curb the spread of the virus. "But we should not be victims of our own success," said Dr Gauer, warning about the possibility of a second wave of infections.

"The pandemic is far from over. A second wave is definitely going to be a challenge - a bigger challenge. The pressure on healthcare systems would increase exponentially."

Dr Gauer said the risk is higher as winter is fast approaching and a rise in flu cases is expected. "Then it becomes a bigger problem because with flu symptoms or even with common cold, one becomes susceptible to Covid.

"With a second wave, our socio-economic system will get stretched. So we cannot afford to let our defences down. But if we do it right, then we do not have to be afraid as a second wave is easily preventable," said the doctor.

Dr Jyoti Upadhyay, specialist - Internal Medicine at Aster Hospital, Mankhool, said it is not clear how the virus will respond in a second wave.

"As the cases are rising in the last few days, it is important to continue to be vigilant."

She said it is important to practise the safety measures like washing hands frequently and avoid touching the face and nose. "Wear a mask at all times in public, maintain social distance, do not attend large gatherings, stay at home at slightest sign of illness and seek medical help if needed and travel only if absolutely necessary," said Dr Upadhyay.

Concerned by the spike in cases, health authorities have called upon residents to adhere to precautionary measures against Covid-19 as it is a national responsibility.

Anjana Sankar

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