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UAE Government announces 930 new COVID-19 infections, the highest rate for 4 months

UAE Government announces 930 new COVID-19 infections, the highest rate for 4 months

Sep 10, 2020 12:18
The UAE government held an exceptional media briefing to clarify the reasons and provide scientific explanations for the increase in the number of new cases of the Coronavirus,COVID-19, during the past period and urged all members of society to adhere to preventive measures such as social distancing, wearing a mask and monitoring symptoms.

During the special briefing, Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector, announced the registration of 930 new cases of COVID-19, the highest number recorded in four months, after conducting 82,076 new tests, which brings the total number of confirmed cases to 76,911 cases.

Dr Al Hosani revealed that 586 recoveries were recorded, bringing the total to 67,945, with five deaths during the past 24 hours as a result of COVID-19. This brings the total number of deaths to 398.

Dr Al Hosani explained that despite the high recovery rates, the increase in infections requires everyone to pause and consider their actions since just one month ago, on 10th August, only 179 infections were recorded. The rise in cases within a month to over 900 is an increase of more than five times.

Dr Al Hosani explained figures and percentages that revealed the various dimensions of this increase, as men constituted 62 percent of the total cases compared to 38 percent for females.

The figures also confirm that 12 percent of infections recorded during the past two weeks belong to citizens and residents returning from outside the country. Although they obtained negative results in their country of departure, in accordance with travel rules, they did not adhere to quarantine procedures for a period of 14 days and the authorities continue to keep a close watch on these cases.

Dr Al Hosani announced that the largest percentage of detected infections, at a rate of 88 percent, came from contact with people at gatherings, including weddings, funerals, workplaces and breaking the quarantine protocol. She explained that these infections were a direct result of a failure to comply with preventive measures, such as wearing masks and physical distancing.

The previous rate also includes 10 percent of infections discovered through prior examination of administrative and educational staff in schools, as well as parents and students who chose to return to schools as part of the plan announced by the Ministry of Education.

Dr Al Hosani confirmed that the authorities have studied this increase closely to identify patterns and attributed the reasons for this rise to a set of factors, foremost of which is the failure of individuals to adhere to preventive measures such as physical distancing, continuing to visit others and attending gatherings, whether in homes or restaurants, and by holding events.

Family gatherings with a large number of invitees are in violation of the simplest safety procedures, and have resulted in many cases of infection due to contact between people, she noted.

Dr Al Hosani also stated that the second factor lies in the non-compliance of some malls, shops and public facilities with the precautionary measures, stressing that in some cases crowding and jostling has been observed in commercial stores and the competent authorities have taken the necessary measures towards these actions.

Dr Al Hosani noted that people neglecting to check symptoms of COVID-19, and breaking home quarantine procedures by going out and mixing with others, are also important reasons for the current increase.

Dr Al Hosani also attributed the reasons for the increase in infections to the negligence of a number of private educational institutions and their failure to implement precautionary measures after discovering cases of COVID-19.

This is in violation of isolation procedures set out by the Ministry of Education, which stipulate that study should be suspended for a period of 14 days after any case is discovered at an educational institution. She added that classes at the public and private schools where cases of infection were discovered have been suspended for 14 days.

Dr Al Hosani revealed that these combined factors, in addition to recording and monitoring of cases of infection coming from abroad, have contributed to the current increase in the number of positive cases.

Dr Al Hosani said that the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, has already begun coordinating with local emergency and crisis committees across the UAE to tighten controls.

Those who violate preventive measures will be held accountable, whether they are individuals who do not wear masks, hold gatherings or break home quarantine rules, or businesses including shops, commercial centres and restaurants that do not comply with temperature checks and reduced capacity rules. Fines will be applied based on the decision of the Attorney General, she warned.

Dr Al Hosani stressed that since the start of the pandemic, the UAE has achieved many successes and accomplishments thanks to the commitment of the UAE community of citizens and residents over the last eight months, noting that the gradual recovery of all vital sectors requires the responsibility of everyone, starting with individuals and families and even institutions.

Dr Al Hosani said that the current stage requires solidarity and cooperation from everyone, as the health sector, along with the economic sector and all other sectors, forms part of this success. She praised the important role played by members of the Emirati community, as well as residents, during the past eight months.

Dr Al Hosani called on every person in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 to follow the approved quarantine protocol. They should not rely on a negative test result from a period after the discovery of contact with an infected person as an excuse to return to normal life as the incubation period of the virus may last up to 14 days.

She also called upon families who wish to celebrate any occasion to limit themselves to a very limited number of guests and to follow all preventive measures.

At the end of the briefing, Dr Al Hosani confirmed that the UAE Government has put in place all precautionary measures and requirements for the re-opening and return of various sectors, including schools, commercial centres, hotels, mosques and workplaces, which means that the gradual opening may not be linked to the increase in infections as the procedures and instructions are clear and everyone is required to follow them.