Coronavirus in UAE
An ambulance and emergency medical response team in the UAE Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: A senior health official assured residents of the UAE on Thursday that all cases of coronavirus are being monitored round the clock, and are being handled with utmost care in keeping with the best international standards.

In a televised briefing, Dr Farida Al Hosani, Director of the Communicable Diseases at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, said that the UAE has confirmed 140 cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) so far, out of which 31 have recovered.

“Twenty-seven new coronavirus cases have been detected, bringing the total number of cases to 140, out of which five cases were fully recovered, including three Emiratis, one Syrian and one Sri Lankan. The total number of people recovered has gone up to 31,” Dr Al Hosani said.

Dr Al Hosani said there is no need to rush to buy food because the strategic stock of food is sufficient for a long time and there is no need for fear or panic.

“There is a hotline available if anyone has symptoms of the disease and there is a diagnosis on the phone. The capacity of governmental and private quarantine wards has been increased,” Dr Al Hosani said.

She added quarantine is the shared responsibility of individuals and society ... The maximum period is 15 days. Upon reassessment of the condition, the period of quarantine for the infected may be increased.

Dr Al Hosani said, “We have 4,340 students abroad, and a committee, comprising representatives from ministries, government agencies and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been set up to ensure their return home and the application of home quarantine procedures.

Dr Al Hosani said there is strict control over businesses and workers accommodations to ensure that each company follows the guidelines. Visits are made to these facilities to spread awareness among workers in several languages.

She said the UAE is among the few countries in the world that has a strong system for detection and surveillance of infectious diseases.

“The Government has taken immediate measures to provide as much healthcare as possible. The UAE applies the best practices in accordance with international best standards to monitor any situation since the first day of the announcement of the emergence of the virus ... and government agencies have taken a package of comprehensive measures aimed at reducing the spread of the strain within the country... This integrated system is implemented in cooperation between local and federal agencies and in full coordination with the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority.

Dr Al Hosani allayed fears of the public about the strain and said in general, the number of critical cases globally is small compared to the number of infected people.

“But the country has taken a number of mandatory measures to control the virus and limit its spread .... Among these precautionary measures are working and studying remotely, suspending the holding of prayers in mosques and places of worship, granting elderly and pregnant women leave or allowing them to from home, shutting down places of entertainment, preventing the holding of wedding parties and postponing all social events and gatherings.