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A handout illustration image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health taken with a scanning electron microscope shows SARS-CoV-2 (round blue objects) emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. SARS-CoV-2 is the virus that causes COVID-19. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Dubai: The UAE on Saturday reported another 241 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients to 1,505.

It is the highest-single day toll of infections that is reported in the UAE since the emergence of the coronavirus in the country.

The UAE has also recorded one more death case from the novel coronavirus for a 53-year-old Arab national, bringing the country’s death toll to 10, according to the official spokesperson for the UAE health sector, Dr Farida Al Hosani.

Another 17 new recoveries have also been confirmed in the UAE, pushing the total of recovered patients to 125, Al Hosani said in today’s press briefing.

The UAE is expected to see a growing number of COVID-19 cases due to expanding the scope of examination and testing more people, Al Hosani added, urging everyone to wear a mask, even without the presence of any respiratory symptoms.

“Previous studies confirmed that wearing a mask is limited to those who suffer from respiratory symptoms such as coughing. Today, with our continuous follow-up of all studies and recommendations, we urge everyone to wear a mask, even without the presence of any respiratory symptoms,” she emphasised.

Fabric masks can also be used for a longer period but they need to washed well at the end of the day. People must not touch or share them with others, she further said.

Al Hosani advised people not to reuse the one-use mask, saying it is very important to change the mask when it is wet, contaminated, or damaged after use.

Hamid Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Assistant Undersecretary for the Commercial Affairs Sector at the Ministry of Economy, said that the Ministry of Economy has formed an operation room comprising of highly-qualified teams to deal with expected economic challenges.

The operation room features several teams including retail and outlets team, suppliers team, monitoring and consumer protection team, tourism team, and foreign trade and investment team.

“We have created a database for registered sales outlets, which amount to more than 1,600, and we have developed a plan to continuously identify the quantities of stock available in the country especially basic commodities” Al Muhairi added.

“We have coordinated jointly between suppliers and sales outlets to ensure the availability of goods at reasonable prices, and coordinated with customs authorities and departments in the country to facilitate the entry of food and basic commodity shipments from ports to warehouses” he emphasised, adding that customs procedures in the country were reduced from two days to hours only.

He made it clear that the UAE market does not face any shortage, and that the process of supply and import is carried out according to the plan established. Local production will continue, and the stock available is sufficient for long periods, Al Muhairi said.

“We call on members of the public not to worry and to shop reasonability and buy what they need only. We have set an upper limit for the prices of sterilisers and masks to which all sales outlets must adhere where the profit rate does not exceed 5 per cent, he highlighted

“We are cooperating with suppliers to diversify the sources of import, and to find alternative markets for food and basic commodities affected by precautionary measures taken by exporting countries, or as a result of restrictions to freight movement” Al Muhairi further said.