ABU DHABI- The UAE has maintained its position as a global leader in a number of various rankings related to containing COVID-19 within the country. A senior government official said that this was due to the UAEs outstanding management of the crisis, and through both its community awareness efforts and the efforts of the dedicated to health professionals working on the front lines.

During a media briefing held on Tuesday, Dr. Omar Al Hammadi, a spokesperson of the UAE Government, added that regular developments had been announced since the start of the pandemic on TV and radio in various languages to ensure the delivery of awareness messages to everyone in the UAE Al Hammadi stated that the UAE is leading globally in terms of the total number of medical tests in relation to the population, due to its strategy aimed at enlarging the scope of daily testing, he added, noting that the country has performed 98,528 new tests that detected 852 cases, and the number of coronavirus infections since the start of the pandemic now stands at 86,447.

Al Hammadi also announced 939 new recoveries, bringing the total number to 76,025, and that no deaths were registered in the last 24 hours. According to the updated figures. Patients currently receiving treatment in healthcare establishments number 10,017, he added.

Al Hammadi presented several positive indices that reflect the solid performance of the involved teams from various sectors in countering the virus, which highlighted the fact that the UAE ranked first globally in terms of the number of coronavirus tests performed in July and August 2020 in relation to the population, and in July, the average number of daily tests amounted to 47,857, equivalent to 483.9 tests per day for every 100,000 people, which is the highest-rate globally. In August, the average number of daily tests amounted to 65,106, equivalent to 658.3 tests per day for every 100,000 people.

He then noted that 1,483,576 lab tests were carried out in July around the country to ensure that members of the community were not infected. August witnessed a 36 percent increase from July, as 2,018,274 lab tests were conducted, which is the eighth-highest rate registered by any country that month and the highest in relation to the population.

Al Hammadi pointed out that the daily average of detected cases in August 2020 amounted to 305, equivalent to only 3.1 cases for every 100,000 people, adding that the total number of detected cases decreased from July to August by 21 percent from 11,977 to 9,467, and the number of deaths decreased by 5.7 percent between July and August from 35 to 33 while average deaths in August amounted to 0.01 for every 100,000 people.

Al Hammadi further said that the rate of positive tests compared to the total number of tests in August was 0.47 percent, representing 9,467 positive results from 2,018,274 tests. In July, the rate was 0.81 percent, equivalent to 11,977 positive cases from 1,483,576 tests.

According to these figures, the UAE ranked eighth globally in terms of registering the fewest positive results compared to the total number of tests, he explained while pointing out that these positive outcomes are due to the community’s awareness and commitment, but the coming period will require ongoing adherence to the preventive measures by all segments of society, citizens and residents alike to maintain the country’s related achievements. Al Hammadi also called on institutions and employers to continue to guide and educate their workers on the topic.

Al Hammadi warned that diabetics, in general, and gestational diabetes, in particular, are more susceptible to experiencing complications associated with COVID-19, and scientists have noted that more diabetics and obese people end up in hospitals due to COVID-19 infections, affirming that high blood sugar levels (Hyperglycemia) increase the risk of lung infections in COVID-19 patients.

Several factors make those with diabetes more susceptible to experiencing complications, including weakened immunity, which makes them unable to fight the virus and more susceptible to complications, he further said, affirming the fact that there is no evidence of a connection between medicines for diabetes and COVID-19 complications, however, there is evidence that stopping the use of medicines and insulin and having high blood sugar levels may cause serious complications.

He then advised diabetics to be extra cautious to protect themselves from contracting the virus and asked everyone to benefit and learn from previous pandemics, which have shown that individual commitment is key to containing infections and reducing harm.

Al Hammadi answered several frequently asked questions and defined the incubation period of the virus as the period that requires to enter the body and cause symptoms, noting that the incubation period of COVID-19 is between two and 14 days. Therefore, the recommended quarantine period for people returning from abroad and those exposed to people who contracted the virus is two weeks.

Al Hammadi further added that symptoms usually start four to five days after infection. However, many people do not get any symptoms in the first few days and some find out that they are infected during their regular medical check-ups while explaining that the elderly and people with chronic diseases may experience a delay in symptoms and urging people to be cautious when dealing with these categories upon diagnosing COVID-19.

He also pointed out that infection could occur without any symptoms, noting that the rate of transmission is higher for those who show symptoms and signs of disease, stressing the necessity of wearing face masks even without feeling any symptoms, to reduce the spread of the virus during the incubation period.

Replying to a question on how social gatherings and events are major causes of the increasing number of coronavirus cases, Al Hammadi explained that all types of gatherings may increase the number of infections, not only social gatherings in houses but also in restaurants and malls, so people should adhere to the precautionary measures. He then stressed that everyone is responsible for preventing themselves from being infected, whether at home or in public places.

Al Hammadi highlighted the importance of adhering to related instructions, such as avoiding gatherings, maintaining social distancing, wearing facemasks and cooperating with relevant authorities to report violators.

At the end of the briefing, Al Hammadi warned that some social habits may continue to facilitate the spread of the virus, especially if someone is asymptomatic. These habits include shaking hands, visiting others homes, and disregarding the recommended preventive measures.


© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.