532 new cases, 1,887 recoveries, tests cross million

By DG Staff

ABU DHABI 26 April 2020: The UAE Government has announced that the number of covid-19 tests has broken the one million mark, reaching a total of 1,022,326 screenings as part of the national plan to intensify coronavirus detection.

Speaking at the UAE’s regular media briefing on Saturday, Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said that covid-19 tests are available nationwide under the directives of the UAE leadership for Emiratis and residents alike at more than 14 mobile drive-through facilities, in addition to screening centres provided by hospitals and other medical facilities across the country, as well as screening services dedicated to people of determination.

The minister attributed the success in conducting such a large number of tests to the “tireless efforts made 24/7 by dedicated medical teams.”

“Even during the holy month of Ramadan, the working hours of our medical teams have not changed, and they are continuing their work with more determination to ensure public health and safety,” he added.

“The more tests we conduct, the earlier we detect more cases, and the more efficiently we can contain the virus. The more tests we perform, the more proactive we can handle those proven to be in contact with confirmed cases, as well as those who don’t exhibit any symptoms and yet carry the infection,” he said.

He conveyed to the public his high regard for the country’s frontline health workers in combatting the virus, said Wam.

“On behalf of all our medical teams, we thank all members of the community, including citizens and residents, for their compliance with preventative and precautionary measures and their contributions to ongoing national efforts.”

For her part, Dr. Amna Al Shamsi, spokesperson for the UAE Government, said the number of recoveries has increased to 1,887 after another 127 cases were fully cured.

“Past weeks saw the recovery of an average of 100 cases daily,” she said, adding that 20 percent of the total infections have recovered. Accelerated screening resulted in the detection of 532 new cases among various nationalities, bringing the total number of infections in the country to 9,813.

She explained that the decision to partially relax restrictions does not mean that the situation is back to normal. Precautionary and preventative measures are still in place, and the public must comply with all measures, including social distancing and the wearing of masks.

“On the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan, the UAE has been keen to partially relax restrictions on movement while ensuring that all people continue to abide by the relevant prevention guidelines and instructions. These new measures include:

  • Allowing first and second degree relatives to visit while avoiding inviting those susceptible to infection, including the elderly and people with chronic diseases. The number of people present in a place at any one time may not exceed five individuals,” Al Shamsi stated.
  • “Exercise should take place near one’s home for up to two hours, with a maximum of three people at any one time. Food should not be exchanged between residents of different homes. In the event that food is received from relatives or friends in the vicinity of one’s home, the appropriate handling of food in disposable sealed bowls must be ensured,” she noted.
  • Domestic helpers are prohibited from meeting anyone outside the home. They also cannot receive food from an unknown source. They should be provided with the necessary protective equipment should they need to interact with people from outside.
  • They must also be advised on the necessary precautions to follow in the event of receiving any parcels or goods from delivery services.

Al Shamsi said that MoHaP, along with the Departments of Health in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, have launched an app to allow health authorities to rapidly identify cases susceptible to infection and consequently contact and test them.

“The application provides a service that shows to what extent people under home quarantine abide by the required measures in order to ensure their protection and the safety of the public. Every user will have a QR code showing his or her health condition. The app uses Bluetooth short range signals to show whether or not the person in question is near other people who had contact with previously confirmed covid-19 cases who also should have the app installed on their mobiles.”



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