Mon 13-04-2020 20:52 PM
ABU DHABI, 13th April, 2020 (WAM) -- The UAE Government announced that an additional 172 patients had recovered from the coronavirus after receiving the necessary medical care, raising the total number of recoveries to 852.
In the regular media briefing held today in Abu Dhabi, Dr. Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, and Brigadier General Khamis Al Kaabi, spokesperson of the Identity and Citizenship Authority, ICA, gave an update on the developments and measures taken for the coronavirus prevention.
Dr. Hosani said: ''We are increasing testing for citizens and residents across the UAE and an additional 23,380 Covid-19 tests were performed using the most advanced testing techniques.'' During the briefing, Dr. Al Hosani also announced the death of three patients of different nationalities as a result of COVID-19.
Dr. Hosani said: ''Our sincere condolences to the families of three residents who tested positive for COVID-19 and died due to complications of chronic diseases. This brings the total death toll to 25.'' She expressed her sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and wished a speedy recovery for those infected. She also called upon members of the community to cooperate with the relevant health authorities in adhering to official guidance and to practice social distancing to ensure the health and safety of the community.
Dr. Al Hosani said that His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on Sunday, launched the National Home Testing Programme for People of Determination, for UAE citizens and residents, to ensure all segments of the community have adequate access to testing facilities.
''The new programme supports and compliments the efforts of the drive-through testing facilities for COVID-19 and accredited testing centres nationwide.'' Clarifying the misunderstanding circulated on social media about the time for reaching the peak of cases and the tally of recoveries, she said:''There is an epidemic curve, a medical statistical chart used to show the uptrend of the number of infections towards the peak before taking the downtrend.'' She noted studies that simulates the curve and predicts the tally of potential infections.
However, Dr. Al Hosni continued, ''It is important to know that no studies could give a specific timescale for when the Covid-19 cases may finally peak before we see the curve flattened.'' Dr. Hosani said precautionary measures and practices like social distancing and increased testing help flatten the curve to stagger the rate of people infected with Covid-19.
These precautionary measures, she added, contribute significantly in delaying the spread of the virus and reducing the cases, therefore preventing a steep rise in cases in a short timeframe.
On the preventive measures and the correct way to wear facemasks, she explained:'' The coloured (blue) side of the mask always faces outwards.'' Reminding the public of the best and safe personal hygiene protocols, ''We advise individuals to wear gloves when stepping out of home and frequently change them when moving from one place to another. Individuals are also urged to avoid touching personal objects while wearing gloves, particularly frequently used devices like cellphones.
She said, ''It is important to frequently wash hands with water and soap after disposing of gloves in a safe manner. We advise members of the public to always practise this process everywhere as the best and safe way and better than wearing gloves.'' Brigadier General Khamis Al Kaabi, spokesperson of the Identity and Citizenship Authority, ICA, said the public can use ''our smart platforms'' to avail the services they need.
ICA, he added, has been working to support residents and visitors to mitigate the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic following the suspension of air traffic.
Brigadier General Al Kaabi explained that residents whose residence visas expired in early March 2020 will receive an extension of their visas until end of December 2020. This measure applies to both residents inside and outside the UAE.
''UAE visitors who have remained in the country and had their visas expire in early March 2020, will also have their visit visas extended till end of December 2020.'' Brigadier General Al Kaabi added that residents whose Emirates ID cards expired in early March 2020 will also have their validity extended until the end of the current year.