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Tue 11 Feb 2020 07:15 PM

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UAE is well stocked with equipment to fight coronavirus threat - minister

Health Minister says the UAE has sufficient supplies of surgical masks, medical gloves, goggles, and protective clothing

UAE is well stocked with equipment to fight coronavirus threat - minister

The minister added that several factories in the UAE continue to manufacture essential equipment such as face masks.

The UAE has sufficient stocks of necessary medical supplies such as surgical masks, medical gloves, goggles, and protective clothing to help fight the continuing threat posed by the coronavirus, a minister said on Tuesday.

Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, said more than 500 staff are working round the clock on communication, medical investigations and logistical support related to combating the virus.

The minister made the statement while briefing the Federal National Council on the new coronavirus, state news agency WAM reported.

"As soon as the spread of the virus was reported from China, we made available enough quantities of thermometers at the border crossings and airports. We also took all necessary precautions in line with World Health Organisation, WHO, protocols," he said.

The minister added that several factories in the UAE continue to manufacture essential equipment such as face masks.

"All the cases detected in the UAE are so far stable. All those who had contact with the affected and the places they have frequented have been reached, and all the necessary steps to preempt the spread of the infection have been taken," he was quoted as saying.

"Isolation wards are allocated in all of them. Laboratories in government institutions are readied for testing the virus. Protective gears have been provided to healthcare providers. The level of preparedness at the airports have been upgraded, including at national civil aviation companies. We are also in a position to evacuate our people with no time lag once the decision has been taken," he added.

The minister said that the UAE remained in constant touch with the World Health Organisation and will take part in a global meeting to discuss the latest developments with regard to the coronavirus.

The UN health agency on Tuesday announced that "COVID-19" will be the official name of the deadly virus from China, saying the disease represented a "very grave threat" for the world but there was a "realistic chance" of stopping it.

"We now have a name for the disease and it's COVID-19," World Health Organisation chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva.

Tedros said that "co" stands for "corona", "vi" for "virus" and "d" for "disease", while "19" was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on December 31.

The virus has killed more than 1,000 people, infected over 42,000 and reached some 25 countries, with the WHO declaring a global health emergency.

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