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It is the duty of every citizen and resident to observe physical distancing: UAE Government

27 Jul, 2020:
Dr. Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention praised the important role and the great sacrifices that the heroes of the first line of defense including those in the medical sector and other teams who are protecting society and preserving the health of all, stressing that these efforts are continuously contributing to the rates of recovery across the country.

Al Owais congratulated the heroes of the first line of defense on the occasion of the blessed Eid Al-Adha, pointing out that many individuals often spend these occasions away from their families, which is a great personal sacrifice which deserves great thanks and appreciation.

Al Owais stressed the need to adhere to the preventive instructions and procedures during the holiday period, noting that the practice of strict social distancing is increasingly important on such occasions and is a the national duty of all society, especially considering what is at stake.

At the UAE Government’s media briefing in Abu Dhabi today, Al Owais called on community members to adhere to preventive measures in order to overcome the current conditions and continue a successful progression, pointing out that commitment to a simple set of rules and precautionary measures has a significant positive impact.

During the briefing, Dr. Omar Al Hammadi, the spokesperson for the UAE Government, stressed that all workers in the health sector are ready to provide aid and assistance during the Eid period, calling on the public to adhere to the preventive measures significantly.

Al Hammadi announced that the UAE is still at the global forefront of the number of medical examinations in relation to the population and the number of new daily tests reached 47,299. These tests revealed 264 new cases, all of which are receiving the necessary care in health care institutions. The total number of Covid-19 cases now stands at 59,177.

Al Hammadi announced 328 new recoveries, bringing the total number of recoveries to 52,510, one case of death was recorded, bringing the total deaths to 345. There are 6,322 patients still undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

Dr. Omar Al-Hammadi explained that several studies have shown that symptoms of Covid-19 do not differ between children and adults and can include a high temperature, coughing and shortness of breath. Symptoms of Covid-19 are often less severe in children which can mean it’s difficult for parents to spot.

Al-Hammadi advised mothers and fathers to closely monitor symptoms and prevent children suspected of infection from visiting the elderly and those with chronic diseases, who are particularly at risk from Covid-19.

Al-Hammadi revealed that children with chronic diseases such as respiratory and congenital heart diseases are more at risk from Covid-19, but that there is evidence that children are more resilient to Covid-19 than adults, due to differences in their immune systems. Children under the age of 1 are however, more likely to develop complications due to immaturity of their immune systems, so more caution should be exercised with this age group.

Al-Hammadi recommended that parents act as good role models for their children in order that they adapt to the new social situation such as wearing masks, caring for personal hygiene, and practicing social distancing.

Al-Hammadi explained that, despite the positive indicators reflected in the numbers of daily cases and the high rates of recovery, it is imperative for everyone to strictly adhere to the preventive measures, the most important of which is social distancing, as this is a key factor in the process of limiting the spread of the virus.

Al-Hammadi revealed that multiple infections are being seen for members of one family, in both citizens and residents, as a result special celebrations and gatherings in homes and farms without maintaining social distancing or wearing a mask. He noted the need avoid big gatherings and limited events to a small number of family members who all need to adhere to precautionary measures such as maintaining a safe distance of no less than two meters between people following sterilization procedures, avoiding handshaking and using single-use paper dishes, cutlery and other utensils.

Al-Hammadi revealed that 47 cases of Covid-19 had been recorded in just five families, who were attending family events without applying social distancing or other preventive measures.

Dr. Omar Al Hammadi announced that, in light of government efforts to support all sectors and the steady return to normality, a decision was issued to resume the circulation of newspapers, magazines and paper marketing publications, taking into account all precautionary and preventive measures. The materials should not be distributed in meeting places such as cafes but can be distributed to offices where they will be read and used by one person exclusively.

Al-Hammadi answered a number of questions on several topics related to Covid-19, and he stressed that figures and statistics from different parts of the world indicate showed that infections amongst men are higher, and that clinical studies have shown the same thing, pointing to the absence of a clear reason for this, but there could be biological and social factors along with behaviours which determine who is more likely to be injured and to have complications.

Al-Hammadi explained that the high rates of infection amongst men could be linked to higher rates of males with chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart and tumors, as well as the higher rates of smoking amongst men in some countries, making them more vulnerable to complications and death. Some evidence indicates that the immune system of women works more efficiently compared to men due to genetic factors and hormones.

Al-Hammadi added that the behavioural patterns may cause men to have higher infection rates compared to women, stressing that at the present time, there is a need for more studies around gender and Covid-19.

With regards to smoking, Al-Hammadi said that the negative effects of smoking on the lungs and blood exacerbate the patient's health and adversely affect the possibility of recovery, especially as Covid-19 is lung disease primarily.

As for the length of time it takes for the patient to recover, Al-Hammadi indicated that this depends on the individual’s condition, age and medical history, and those with chronic diseases need longer treatment ranging from 10 to 20 days from the date the symptoms appear, If the infection is simple and limited to basic symptoms such as coughing, fever and bodily pain, patients can recover in as little as 10 days.

Regarding safe interaction between family and friends during the Eid period, Al-Hammadi stressed that social media and electronic communication are the best methods at the present time because there is no face-to-face interaction. Visits should be limited to first and second degree relatives only and all should apply and follow the precautionary measures and guidelines to avoid infecting their loved ones.

Al-Hammadi advised the public to avoid distributing Eid gifts and money to children to reduce the chances of infection. Avoid visits and family gatherings and replace them with electronic means or phone calls. Adhere to well-known measures during the Eid period, such as social distancing, wearing masks, washing hands, avoiding shaking hands, protect the elderly and those with chronic diseases by avoiding visiting.

Al-Hammadi noted at the end of the briefing the importance of making sure that domestic workers do not meet with people from outside the home and use personal protective equipment when handling with deliveries, etc.

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