20201023 coronavirus cases
Photo for illustrative purposes. Image Credit: AFP

A spokesperson for the UAE’s National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority in a press briefing on Tuesday said that 791,739 examinations were carried out between December 2 and 8.

Dr. Omar AbdulRahman Al Hammadi, the spokesperson, said: During the period between December 2 and December 8, 791,739 examinations were carried out at the state level, and the number of confirmed cases reached 8,688, so the rate of positive cases out of the total number of tests remains 1.0 per cent.”

“The death rate during this period was 0.3 per cent, which is the lowest in the world compared to all of the European Union, the Middle East and North Africa and the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development,” added Al Hammadi.

Pregnant women and COVID

Al Hammadi explained that a pregnant woman is not one of the groups considered most vulnerable to complications from infection according to the available data. He added that COVID-19 does not pose a fatal threat to her, the fetus and the newborn.

However, he advised caution. “We advise pregnant women to exercise caution, follow precautionary measures and take vitamins and supplements according to the instructions of doctors. They should eat a balanced diet that boosts their immunity while continuing physical exercise.”

Exercise and masks

It is difficult to wear a mask for long periods, however, there are some misconceptions about what it does to a body. Al Hammadi addressed these in his statement.

He said: “Wearing a mask for a long time does not cause a decrease in the percentage of oxygen inside the body, nor does it cause a toxic accumulation of carbon dioxide gas as long as the mask is properly used and allows normal breathing.”

“A study monitoring oxygen level in the blood of those suffering from respiratory problems, revealed that wearing masks does not affect the levels of oxygen or carbon dioxide during long periods of rest and short walks.”

Exceptional circumstances

He advised against foolhardiness. “We emphasize that wearing a mask protects those suffering from chronic lung diseases from infections that may impact their respiratory system, and emphasise that no person should wear a mask while suffering from acute shortness of breath for any reason,” he explained.

“We note that wearing a mask during exercise, especially high intensity, may affect a person’s ability to breathe normally and may cause difficulty breathing with the accumulation of carbon dioxide gas inside the mask. Exercising increases rates of sweating, which makes the mask moist, and humidity may provide a fertile environment for germs to grow.”

He concluded: “Underestimating preventive measures and being lenient is extremely dangerous, so let us support the efforts of our country with our awareness and commitment to preventive measures to curb this epidemic.”