Dubai: Amidst a surge of fatalities reported in the media linking the spread of novel coronavirus (nCoV) in the Middle East, a senior official from the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has reconfirmed that there are no recorded cases of the virus in the UAE.
However, as reported by Gulf News on May 2, the UAE Ministry of Health (MOH) and health authorities in the country are closely monitoring border entry points with Saudi Arabia to ensure early detection of suspected cases.
As of May 3, the World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed 10 cases in Saudi Arabia caused by the nCoV.
Dr Riaz Ahmad Khan, specialist registrar at DHA’s Preventive Services and Communicable Disease Section, told Gulf News: “There haven’t been any novel coronavirus cases recorded in the UAE as of May 2.”
Dr Khan explained that the nCoV can have symptoms like fever, cold and cough associated with the common flu.
“Both adults and children experience similar symptoms. Such infections are not routinely tested in the laboratory to be classified as being for example influenza or para-influenza virus (HPIV), a common cause of respiratory illnesses in infants and young children,” he said.
“Within the Preventive Services Department we urge authorities to investigate any cases of people who have symptoms of serious lung infection like pneumonia, and who have travelled to regions where nCoV infections have been recorded,” Dr Khan said.
As reported in the Disease Outbreak News published on May 3 by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia has informed the body of an additional three laboratory confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus. They are currently in critical condition.
On May 2, the Ministry of Health in Saudi Arabia informed of seven laboratory-confirmed cases of infection with the nCoV, including five deaths.
From September 2012 to date, WHO has been informed of a global total of 27 confirmed cases of human infection with nCoV, including 16 deaths.
The WHO and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have not issued travel health warnings for any country related to novel coronavirus.