Viral video of sick animals prompts response from UAE Ministry
The UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment clarifies that video of sick animals is an old one, and should not be circulated on social media. Image Credit: Screengrab

Dubai: A viral video depicting sick animals has been circulating on UAE social networking sites, prompting a response from the environment ministry.

The video, which started to spread during the escalation of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, shows a herd of sick goats and cattle caged in dirty and unhygienic conditions.

In a statement, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) stressed that content, videos, and images circulated through social media platforms may not always represent reliable sources of information, unless they come from the official accounts of the authorities concerned with the subject.

“MOCCAE has learnt that a video of animals apparently suffering from a disease is being circulated on social media. We would like to clarify that the footage is old and involved a shipment of animals that were transported in inadequate conditions, leading to their poor health,” it said.

“Therefore, the Ministry urges all members of the public to seek information from reliable and official sources and beware of rumours and misleading news.”

“MOCCAE is committed to monitoring global health concerns in coordination with international organisations.”

The ministry stressed that it is taking immediate precautionary measures to prevent diseases, pests and biohazards from entering the UAE, and that all products fall within its purview reach consumers in a safe condition.

How to detect Coronavirus infection

On its website, the ministry of environment also listed a description of the coronavirus that has affected scores of countries in the Middle East. On Tuesday, Gulf states announced that the virus which infected at least 140 people in the Middle East have been linked to Iran.

What is the new Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV)?

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that the virus belongs to the Coronaviridae family, which belongs to the family SARS. However, the new virus and methods of transactions are unknown. The Ministry of health in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai Health Authority, in collaboration with the WHO, are working closely to deal with the virus.

What are symptoms of the disease?

It includes respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness such as coughing and sneezing.