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UAE Health Ministry conducts over 27,000 additional COVID-19 tests, announces 342 new cases, 667 recoveries, two deaths

15 Jun, 2020: The UAE Government announced on Monday that more than 27,000 additional COVID-19 tests were conducted among UAE citizens and residents, resulting in the detection of 342 new cases and taking the total number of infections in the country to 42,636.

The announcement was made during the regular media briefing held in Abu Dhabi, wherein Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE Government, and Fatima Al Abdouli, spokesperson for the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, provided an update on coronavirus-related developments and measures taken to mitigate its impact.

Dr. Al Shamsi noted an additional 667 individuals have fully recovered from COVID-19, bringing the total number of recoveries to more than 28,129, adding that a total of 14,216 individuals are still being treated.

She also announced the death of two individuals as a result of COVID-19 complications, taking the total number of fatalities in the country to 291.

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

Emphasising the importance of complying with all precautionary measures and following a healthy lifestyle, especially among elderly people suffering from chronic diseases, Dr. Al Shamsi said that patients with diabetes account for 40 percent of COVID-19 related deaths.

For her part, Al Abdouli spoke of the smart spatial platform initiative launched by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development to further prepare government establishments to confront the ongoing health crisis.

"The initiative comes in rapid response to the Cabinet’s decision to best utilise government buildings and weigh the possibility of turning them into health or storage facilities serving the medical sector in curbing the spread of the novel virus," she said.

Al Abdouli explained that the platform uses AI techniques in providing spatial and statistical data in collaboration with a number of relevant government departments to support national efforts in dealing with the pandemic.

"The platform utilises smart analytical tools to prepare preliminary studies for managing government facilities in a way that ensures rapid response and optimum utilisation of available resources in times of distress," she continued.

The platform wields data from more than 3,500 government establishments sprawling over six million square metres that can accommodate over 500,000 people, she said.

"As such, the platform will be able to fulfill the requirements of the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, as well as other relevant authorities."

The platform, she continued, "enables decision-makers to determine the need for certain government buildings and establishments in times of crisis depending on their proximity to residential areas and health facilities."

In addition, it uses a smart interactive map displaying the population density and death toll in each area nationwide to assist governmental entities in making the appropriate decision in an immediate and precise manner.

She highlighted four smart tools used by the platform. "The first tool is the use of interactive maps displaying various possible scenarios to determine how far an establishment is ready as a facility to support efforts to face this crisis."

"The second tool is a smart board to monitor and determine the readiness of these establishments in terms of their capacity, workforce size, and total area. The third tool includes demographic and thermal maps to monitor the population distribution. The fourth is a monitor of sanitisation operations to follow up on the disinfection of government establishments in order to use them as support facilities."

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