Coronavirus: UAE confirms 45 new cases, three recoveries
The new cases span across different nationalities.
The UAE has registered 45 new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of infected persons in the country to 198, authorities announced on Monday, March 23. The new cases span across different nationalities, including the UK, Canada, India, Russia, Pakistan, the Philippines, Iraq, Kuwait, Pakistan, Italy, Peru, Ethiopia, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Montenegro, France and Poland, Dr Farida Al Hosani, Director of Communicable Diseases Department at the Department of Health in Abu Dhabi and the official spokesperson for the health sector in the UAE, said in a virtual press briefing. She said one of the infected persons, who returned from overseas, had failed to adhere to quarantine regulations and infected 17 others, including family members and colleagues.
Dr Al Hosani also announced three new recoveries from Covid-19 - two from Nepal and one from Iran - taking the total number of fully cured patients to 41.
"All the new patients are being monitored and treated in various hospitals across the country," she said, adding that the UAE has over the recent days issued new directives including the closure of all shopping malls and markets across the country and the suspension of all inbound, outbound and transit flights as precautionary measure to prevent the global spread of coronavirus.
She explained groceries, supermarkets, cooperative societies and pharmacies that are inside or outside the shopping centres will remain open.
"We are hopeful that the spread of the coronavirus will slow down if all people comply with the precautionary measures and the directives set by the UAE authorities," said the official.
"We urge everyone to adhere to the precautionary measures issued by health authorities, including the self-isolation, and practise social distancing. People should only leave their homes in case of emergency."
Dr Al Hosani said citizens and residents and "our country are treasures for us all and the UAE leadership have asked everyone to protect that treasure by adhering to all the precautions put in place". She warned that legal action will be taken against all the violators.
The official also called on people with respiratory problems to avoid direct contact with family members and not to visit neighbours and friends.
Al Hosani noted that health authorities have issued guidelines for safe food delivery, including directing the delivery persons to wear masks, cover food properly and wear gloves.
"Global studies have not shown any affected cases that are linked to the spread of infection through food or food delivery. This is very clear even in the UAE as majority of cases are reported to have come from person-to-person contact," she said.
The official noted that the authorities are closely observing the health of all medics and paramedics in the country and they are being trained on health and safety measures.
"We thank all medial paramedical team for their work. They are supporting us and they are the heroes we count on to overcome this challenging period."
Answering a question on how long schools will remain closed, she said all decisions are subject to continuous assessment of the situation.
Answering to another question, she said those who have recovered from Covid-19 can only be allowed to leave hospital and go back to normal lives after several tests and ensuring that they are free from the virus.
Explaining the contact tracing process of a person who has tested positive for Covid-19, Dr Al Hosani said they investigate those who were in contact with them through phone calls and visiting all areas where the infected person had visited. "We order for self quarantine or take them to the institutional quarantines where we keep them for 14 days," she said.
Infected person violates quarantine, infects 17 others
One of the 45 new cases of Covid-19 failed to adhere to quarantine regulations and infected 17 others, a health official has revealed.
Addressing a virtual briefing on Monday, the official said the infected person came back from abroad. After he violated quarantine norms, the infection spread to 17 others, including family members and colleagues.
A top official had earlier said that a person caught deliberately spreading coronavirus in the UAE could face up to five years in prison and a fine of Dh50,000.