Faster results from stem cell treatment: UAE

By Eudore R. Chand

ABU DHABI 11 June 2020: Initial results of the stem cells supportive treatment for Covid-19, which was announced by the UAE last May, are promising, according to UAE officials.

It was administered in the UAE to 73 Covid-19 patients who moderately or severely ill before treatment. They responded very well which means it is an effective therapy, said Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, Consultant and Head of Hematology and Oncology Department at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, and Senior Specialist in Research Related with the Stem Cell Project,

“The treatment has secured intellectual property rights protection, which paves the way for sharing it at a wider scale to benefit more patients.” she said.

Faster Results

The patients that received stem cells therapy improved faster than those who received the conventional treatment only. The former showed clinical improvement within four days of administering the therapy, while it took the latter and average eight days to show similar results. The seriously ill patients needed only six days to recover, which is less that the time taken by normal patients to recover who spent 22 days in hospital. All the patients who were treated with stem cells, recovered in less than seven days, three times faster than those treated with conventional methods.

According to Dr. Al Kaabi, 67% of the patients receiving stem cell therapy were completely cured. The research team looked for side effects and monitored fatality rates within 28 days, while evaluating reaction of the patients’ immune systems, severity of illness and watching for any blood clotting.

She added that the patients with hemoglobin levels of less than 10, those suffering Inflammation in the blood vessels or those who receive chemotherapy for cancer, were excluded, along with patients whose age is below 18.

Determining the ideal dose

Dr. Al Kaabi concluded by saying that the research team is currently working on several experiments in preparation for the third stage which involves determining the ideal dose and how effective the treatment for other respiratory diseases like asthma.

Avoid false and unsubstantiated information

Dr. Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for the UAE health sector, fielded questions about Covid-19 information circulating in social media. She urged the public to avoid false and unsubstantiated information about Covid-19 that could cause confusion and panic.

“The novel coronavirus is a new virus and so far, only three studies were conducted, which are yet to get confirmed or accredited. Therefore, it is important to rely only on confirmed information and to continue the precautions, including social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands regularly, but most importantly, treating people around us as potential Covid-19 infected.

She advised the Covid-19 patients who have no symptoms to adhere to home quarantine and to strictly avoid contacts with others.

On the circulating information about a quick Covid-19 test through the blood, Dr. Al Hosani revealed that the test has not been approved in the UAE, nor in any other country, as a reliable diagnosis, adding that it lacks accuracy and is still in trial phase.

Replace gloves regularly

Asked on how effective the gloves are in protection from Covid-19, she said it is important for the people who wear gloves for long times, like supermarket staff, to replace them in regular and safe manner. She also emphasised the importance of washing and disinfecting hands.

Replying to a newspaper reporter’s question on the need for the people over 60 years to remain at home, she said the current time is very crucial in the fight against Covid-19 and therefore, it is important for the people who are likely to be affected by the virus, like elderly and people with pre-existing diseases, to avoid public places.

“The UAE Government has given a priority to the elderly citizens and residents and focussed its precautionary and preventive measures to care for them and to ensure their wellbeing.”


On the recent reports about the Hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment for Covid-19, Dr. Al Hosani said the medical and scientific community worldwide is engaged in a continuous pursuit for a treatment to the virus.

“There are conflicting studies as to whether Hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating Covid-19 but most of them lack accuracy, which prompted us to review the national protocol for treatment in the UAE and based on international practices, limit its use for simple and moderate cases and stop its use for serious cases.”

She added that the current dose of Hydroxychloroquine is safe and without side effects.

“We are studying all data about the use of Hydroxychloroquine in the UAE and will announce the results soon,” she concluded.

603 new Covid cases, 1,277 recoveries, one death

The UAE Government announced on Wednesday that more than 47,000 additional Covid-19 tests were conducted among UAE citizens and residents, resulting in the detection of 603 new cases and taking the total number of infections in the country to 40,507.

Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, the official spokesperson of the UAE Government, noted an additional 1,277 individuals have fully recovered from Covid-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to more than 24,000 adding that a total of 16,206 individuals are still being treated.

She also announced the death of one person as a result of Covid-19 complications, taking the total number of fatalities in the country to 284, said Wam.

Dr. Al Shamsi expressed her sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and wished current Covid-19 patients a speedy and full recovery.



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