UAE 24 March 2020: The UAE Government has announced 45 new cases of Covid-19.
The announcement was made during a regular media briefing held by Dr. Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE health sector. She elaborated on the precautionary measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus.
Dr. Al Hosani said that one of the declared cases is a person who returned from abroad but did not quarantine himself and waited for the test results. This resulted in the transmission of the virus to 17 people who came in contact with him, such as family members, relatives, and coworkers, bringing the total number of diagnosed cases in the country to 198.
Dr. Al Hosani added that the individuals who tested positive belonged to various nationalities, including one each from the Philippines, Iraq, Tunisia, Syria, Kuwait, Italy, Peru, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Somalia, the UK, Sudan, Egypt, Ireland, Russia, Montenegro, France, and Poland, in addition to two from Canada, three from Bangladesh, four each from Pakistan and the US, and seven from both the UAE and India. All individuals in question are stable and are being treated, she added.
Three more recover
During the briefing, it was announced that three more people–two Nepalese and one Iranian–fully recovered from the disease after receiving the necessary healthcare. The total number of recovered cases now stands at 41. The briefing also detailed the various preventive measures taken so far, such as the closure of malls (except grocery stores and pharmacies), the suspension of flights, and restrictions on restaurants.
Al Hosani called upon the general public to maintain calm and patience and refrain from circulating rumours, pointing to the Attorney General’s recent statement regarding enforcement of the law for violators. She also stressed the importance of adhering to the preventive measures issued by the relevant health authorities in the country.
Al Hosani concluded: ”The protection of our homeland, families, and people is the responsibility that our leadership has placed upon our shoulders. Our compliance with preventive health measures contributes directly to efforts aimed at overcoming this challenge. Today, there is no time for courtesy at the expense of the health of our families and community.”
Mohammed bin Rashid praises efforts of medical teams
In a phone call to the Dubai Health Authority’s (DHA), Emergency Department, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised medical professionals for their dedication to ensure public safety and combat the coronavirus, Covid-19, spread.
His Highness reviewed the precautionary measures taken to combat the epidemic in the UAE as emergency teams work round-the-clock to monitor emerging cases in collaboration with hospitals and health centres across the country. Medical efforts are focused on implementing preventative measures in line with the World Health Organisation’s rules and regulations.
During the phone call, Sheikh Mohammed told Dr. Sara Kazim, Head of the Emergency Department at Rashid Hospital, “We are proud of you and proud of all our doctors, nurses, paramedics and healthcare professionals.”
“You are on the frontline of our nation’s defence against the epidemic, and you are fulfilling a great and noble mission, but it isn’t done yet.”
He reaffirmed the government’s unwavering support to medical teams in the country’s fight against the epidemic, stressing readiness to provide everything needed to ensure public safety.
Dr. Kazim submitted a report to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid that detailed the round-the-clock emergency centre’s operations that ranged from meetings with senior management, monitoring the latest global developments on the coronavirus spread to laying out all possible incidents to implement the necessary precautionary measures. She stressed that the UAE’s health sector is fully equipped to address any emergencies.
Expressing great appreciation for Sheikh Mohammed’s support and constant follow-up with the team’s progress, Dr. Kazim stressed that the efficiency of the medical teams in UAE are thanks to the leadership’s guidance.
DHA Emergency Centre
She added that teams at the emergency centre are ready to provide all kinds of medical services and supplies if the demand increased. She noted that hospitals have increased their capacities, providing more hospital beds, critical care facilities and prepared medical cadres to tackle and contain any emerging situations.
She also reported to His Highness the public commitment to instruction and guidelines issued by health and security authorities that ranged from social distancing, staying home and avoiding hospital visits unless necessary, all of which enhance the efficiency of the country’s healthcare sector.
The DHA’s Emergency Centre receives coronavirus patients from all over the country, placing them in quarantine and providing necessary medical care. It also conducts tests and monitors suspected cases, in addition to testing people in contact with diagnosed patients and placing them under medical supervision. The centre also monitors the quarantine process, placing patients in specialised centres.
Malls, restaurants closed
Over the past few weeks, the UAE has implemented a number of preventative measures to contain the spread of the Covid-19 including distance learning in schools and universities across the country, work from home policies, and flight suspensions.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, have ordered the closure of commercial centres and shopping malls, excluding grocery stores and pharmacies for a renewable period of two weeks. Under the decision, restaurants are also not allowed to receive customers, limiting their services only to home deliveries.
In a joint statement, the Ministry of Interior and NCEMA called UAE citizens, residents and visitors to avoid leaving their homes unless it is necessary to buy essential items. Both authorities also called using family cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle and constantly wearing face masks when out of the house. The public was also advised to maintain social distances during family gatherings as part of the precautionary measures taken to ensure public health and safety.
UAE tells Emirati students abroad to return within 48 hours
The UAE has called on all its Emirati students studying abroad to return to the country. Students whether on scholarship or studying at their own expense are to return to the country within 48 hours.
Students are advised to coordinate with relevant authorities, consulates and embassies.
This statement was made in a circular issued by the Ministry of Education and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA, as a preventive and precautionary measure to ensure the safety of students and in line with the national efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Covid-19.
Carrefour fully stocked and open
While shopping malls are closing in the UAE, all our stores remain open and fully stocked for customers, operating at our regular times, said Philippe Peguilhan – Country Manager of Carrefour UAE at Majid Al Futtaim Retail.
“We encourage all our valued customers to shop responsibly and be mindful of others. We have full confidence in our stock and supply chain and we continue to monitor stock levels to ensure we adequately cater to customer needs. We are also working closely with suppliers to ensure that essential products remain at reasonable prices so that our customers don’t experience an increase in their shopping bills,” he said.
In addition to full sanitation of the stores, Carrefour is adding measures to ensure social distancing and preserve the health of our customers and employees. This includes placing acrylic glass screens at checkout counters to reduce contact, and instructional signage to guide customers on the best social distancing practices.