The total number of people infected with coronavirus in the UAE has reached 2659 as per news released by the public health authorities. On Wednesday, April 8, the Ministry of Health and Prevention announced 300 new cases of Covid-19 in the UAE, the highest single-day rise since the pandemic started. Previously the ministry had announced 294 new coronavirus cases in the UAE on Sunday, April 5, 2020. Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health, also confirmed that 593, 095 tests were conducted in the UAE to prevent the spread of the virus from asymptomatic patients.
The government also confirmed that 12 patients in the UAE died from the disease. Even though there is recovery, Covid 19 still remains a threat. The disease has infected over 1 million people worldwide and caused over 70,000 deaths so far. There has been an increasing number of cases of coronavirus reported from countries like Italy, Germany, France, Spain, United States and United Kingdom.
WHAT IS CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19 INFECTION)?
While there have been reports of coronavirus recovery from all around the world, it is still important for everyone to know what Covid-19 is, how it affects people and what you can do to prevent it.
The SARS-Cov 2 which causes the disease COVID-19, is a type of coronavirus. This specific type of viral infection usually causes diseases in birds and mammals. Coronavirus in animals affects a variety of genera, including bats, snakes, cattle, camels and sometimes even cats. However, when the virus mutates it can and does infect humans too. Coronavirus usually leads to respiratory infections, which can prove potentially fatal if you have a weak immune system.
The coronavirus is contagious. It spreads through human transmission and poses a potential public health risk in countries where the disease has been detected. While coronavirus transmission depends on a number of factors, including virus mutation and the person’s immunity, it can prove terminal. The virus, once contracted, can cause serious lower respiratory tract illness, bronchitis and pneumonia.
THE GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS INFECTION
The Covid-19 in the UAE or anywhere else in the world is slightly tricky to detect because its symptoms are mostly flu-like and in some cases do not even become apparent. Different cases of coronavirus patients in the world have reported a variety of symptoms like:
- Sore throat
- Muscle pain
- A general feeling of being sick
Some patients have also reported shortness of breath and diarrhoea as symptoms of the 2019 coronavirus. If you or anybody you know shows the slightest signs of these symptoms, it’s imperative to consult a doctor right away and self isolate to prevent passing it on to someone else.
People with a weakened immune system are more likely to get the coronavirus infection in the UAE and the rest of the world. These may include, but aren’t limited to:
- The elderly
- Young children
- Pregnant women
CORONAVIRUS IN THE UAE
The novel coronavirus that causes the disease Covid-19 continues to spread across the world. Meanwhile, to ensure the health and safety of its citizens, the UAE government has taken several COVID-19 precautions to ensure the safety of residents.
Since it began, the UAE is closely monitoring the domestic and international situation of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In a tweet, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said:
“We’re closely following the Chinese government’s efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. We’re confident in their ability to overcome this crisis. The UAE is ready to provide all support to China and cooperate with the international community to tackle this virus.”
In the wake of this pandemic, the UAE government and the health ministry has taken a number of precautionary steps to deal with a possible influx of the virus.
- In a bid to cut down Covid-19 diagnosis time the UAE is working on introducing 20-minute tests for coronavirus.
- Emirates Airlines suspended all passenger flights to and from the UAE, but has recently restarted the ones flying from Dubai to Brussels, Frankfurt, Paris and Zurich. However, major Covid-19 travel restrictions still remain.
- Dubai Tourism has announced that only UAE nationals are allowed to return to the country, via special repatriation flights by Emirates and Etihad.
- Following the success of the first contactless, drive-through coronavirus test centre in Abu Dhabi, the UAE plans to set up more of these test centres in the capital and other emirates.
- Until further notice, public transport in Dubai is suspended from 08:00 pm to 06:00 across the country in order to facilitate the National Disinfection Programme.
- All residents are urged to stay home as Dubai launches round-the-clock disinfection drive. People are allowed to leave home in case of emergencies, as long as they have a move permit. Anyone leaving home without a move permit will be subjected to Covid-19 violation fines and possible legal action.
- The UAE has also introduced economic stimulus packages to alleviate the long-term impact of the pandemic on the country’s economy.
- The UAE has announced that all the tourist attractions, public parks, theme parks and beaches will be closed in the interest of public safety. Mall, pubs, gyms, spas and other recreational facilities have also been temporarily shut down.
- All public and private hospitals in the UAE are directed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) not to allow any person who has or is suspected to have coronavirus to leave the hospital premises.
- MoHap has also introduced Wareed – an early warning system to identify high-risk individuals for Covid-19 across 88 health facilities in the country. The system uses scientifically approved test and treatment protocols to identify potential coronavirus patients to be isolated for immediate treatment.
- Abdul Rahman Bin Mohammad Al Owais, the Minister of Health and Prevention, also announced that all the nurseries in the UAE will be closed for from March 1, 2020. This was announced as a precautionary measure to contain the spread of the disease.
- The government has closed down schools and universities in the country for a month, starting March 8. The shut down of UAE schools and universities will mitigate risks and control any possible spread of Covid-19 among students. A sterilisation programme for educational facilities will also be carried across the country.
- All DHA-licensed health facilities are advised to treat coronavirus cases (confirmed and suspected) as emergencies. All coronavirus UAE cases, with and without health insurance, are to be treated free of cost. In the case of patients with health insurance, the insurance companies have to honour the claims received.
CORONAVIRUS UAE: LIVE COUNT
8 APRIL 2020
The UAE’s Ministry of Health has so far, confirmed 2659 coronavirus cases in the country. This includes the coronavirus cases reported in Dubai as well. Out of these 2659 Covid-19 cases, 239 patients have been confirmed as cured by the government officials.
There are also 12 confirmed deaths in the UAE from coronavirus. The MOHAP made the announcement and said that the deceased patients include a 78-year old Arab national, a 59-year old Asian expat, a 47-year old Arab woman, a 53-year-old Arab national and a 52-year-old Asian with pre-existing health conditions.
There are necessary precautions taken at both private and public hospitals in Dubai and the rest of the UAE to quarantine the spread of this disease. These precautions are in accordance with the World Health Organization (WHO)-approved scientific recommendations and standards. Meanwhile, residents of the UAE are requested to:
- Avoid misinformation
- Not circulate rumours or unverified information about the disease
- Rely only on official statements by the health ministry and/or the government
You should know that spreading untrue videos and rumours of coronavirus cases in the UAE is a federal crime under the UAE’s cybercrime laws. Any person found doing so or joking about coronavirus diagnosis will be subject to legal consequences.
PRECAUTIONS FOR CORONAVIRUS PREVENTION
While the government and health sector implement safety measures to prevent the outbreak of coronavirus in the UAE, there are several precautions you can take on an individual level.
To avoid getting the coronavirus in Dubai and the UAE, here’s what you need to do:
- Wash your hands properly and regularly
- Use a sanitiser to keep your hands clean at all times
- Wear gloves, if possible and change or wash them daily
- Use a clean towel to wipe your hands and wash your towels regularly
- Keep your distance from anyone who shows even the slightest signs of a respiratory illness
- Do not touch staircase bannisters and/or doorknobs especially in public places
- Stay hydrated. Drink warm water and keep your throat moist
- Cook your food properly
- Always cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough
- Try not to touch your eyes, mouth or nose with unwashed hands
In addition to that, the UAE Ministry of Health has issued directives advising people to be cautious with traditional modes of greeting and avoid close contact with each other.
WASH YOUR HANDS PROPERLY
According to experts in the health industry across the globe, properly washing your hands is the single, most important precaution you can take to safeguard yourself against coronavirus. To do that, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States have laid down a set of instructions.
- Wet your hands with clean water (warm or cold)
- Lather them with soap
- Scrub your hands thoroughly from all sides (including areas between the fingers, under your nails and the back of your hands)
- Scrub for at least 20 seconds and then wash off
OTHER FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Since its outbreak, people have a number of concerns and questions about Covid-19. Here’s what people have been asking about the infection.
IS THIS THE FIRST CORONAVIRUS TO BE REPORTED?
No, this is not the first time there has been a coronavirus outbreak in the world. The first coronavirus was reported back in November 2002 where the infection caused severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in the people of southern China and further led to over 8,000 cases reported worldwide. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) 774 people died from the disease.
The second coronavirus pandemic emerged in 2012, called the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV). It affected almost 2,000 people across the globe, with the largest outbreak reported in 2015 in South Korea.
HOW SEVERE IS THE LATEST CORONAVIRUS INFECTION?
Even though the total count of UAE residents infected with coronavirus is far less than other countries, its outbreak has spread much faster than the 2002 SARS did. Covid-19 is obviously more contagious but appears less severe than both SARS and MERS virus, says critical care medicine specialist Dr Vikas Bhagat of Aster Hospital Mankhool.
As of April 4, 2020, there were 11 confirmed deaths in the UAE from coronavirus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention in China also revealed that Covid-19 has a case-fatality rate of 2.3%, with most cases declared mild. The disease, however, has highly adverse effects on the elderly.
IS THERE A TREATMENT FOR COVID-19 CORONA VIRUS?
So far, a vaccine for coronavirus treatment has not been developed. Dr Bhagat says that the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus is to avoid close contact with people who appear sick or show symptoms of coronavirus in Dubai or the UAE. It is also advised to take as many health and hygiene precautions as you can to avoid getting the infection.
A confirmation of the same was recently tweeted by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), where it said,
” There is no specific treatment. It is mainly supportive treatment that aims at reducing symptoms. #Coronavirus “
IS CORONAVIRUS RECOVERY POSSIBLE?
So far, the UAE has reported 239 cases of recovery from Covid 19. The country’s first case of coronavirus recovery was a 73-year old Chinese woman Liu Yujia, who showed all signs of being fully recovered and healthy. So, even though all coronavirus patients are being medically treated with supportive treatments, there are chances of full recovery from the disease.
WHAT SHOULD I DO IF SOMEONE IS COUGHING?
Just like it was mentioned before, it’s best to stay away from people who are coughing. Coughing is one of the initial symptoms of the 2019 coronavirus and should not be taken lightly. If it’s a family member or friend who’s coughing, take them to the best hospitals in Dubai right away.
If it’s you who is coughing, consult the doctor immediately. Also, make it a point to carry tissues with you at all times to cover your nose and mouth when you sneeze or cough. Another thing you can do is to turn away and maintain distance when you’re coughing in public.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE BEFORE THE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS APPEAR?
The coronavirus incubation period is estimated between 10 and 14 days. It takes almost two weeks for an infected person to show the first signs of human coronavirus.
IS COUGHING ALONE A SIGN OF CORONA VIRUS?
No it’s not. Dr Sanjay Paithankar, the managing director of Right Health in UAE says, “You only have a cough, there is no fever, no running nose, don’t be afraid, you don’t have coronavirus.”
There is no need to panic if you only have cough, but it is always better to take precautions when you’re coughing in the public.
IS IT BETTER TO AVOID CROWDED PLACES TO SAFEGUARD YOURSELF AGAINST COVID-19 IN THE UAE?
The government and the health sector are closely monitoring the situation of coronavirus in the UAE and the rest of the world and have recommended that it is best to stay at home as far as possible. There are health directives and precautionary measures issued by the Ministry of Health to practise social distancing in the UAE.
We hope you find the information useful. Make sure you keep yourself and your families safe during this viral outbreak. Be especially careful if you have kids that fall sick every now and then. Their weakened immunity makes them an easy target for coronavirus infection. Your best bet, in this case, is to get them checked at one of the children’s hospitals in Dubai, as soon as they show any signs of sickness.
It is extremely important that you do not take a laid back approach to this disease. Hospitals in Abu Dhabi are on alert to tackle any instances of coronavirus reported in the UAE.
For those living in Sharjah, the first response to any symptoms of coronavirus should be a visit to the doctor. There are state-of-the-art private hospitals in Sharjah that you can consider. You can also get quality medical assistance at the government hospitals in Sharjah.
Be careful and keep safe. For more updates, follow us on MyBayut.