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Thu 30 Apr 2020 07:58 AM

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Covid-19: UAE reports 549 new coronavirus cases, nine deaths

Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, some studies show Covid-19 has lasting, long-term side effects on recovered patients

Covid-19: UAE reports 549 new coronavirus cases, nine deaths

Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, some studies show Covid-19 has lasting, long-term side effects on recovered patients.

The UAE announced that a further 9 people who had been diagnosed with Covid-19 have died. It brings the overall number of deaths in the UAE to 98.

In its daily briefing, the government also announced an additional 549 confirmed cases of Covid-19, bringing the overall number infected in the country to 11,929, with 9,502 patients still receiving treatment.

An additional 148 patients have fully recovered from the virus, said Dr Al Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, official spokesperson of the UAE Government, bringing the total number of recoveries to 2,329.

Dr Al Shamsi said that recovered cases constitute 20 percent of all infections in the country, and expected the number to rise in the near future.

“We are optimistic that with the dedication of frontline doctors and paramedics who use the most advanced methods of treatment, we will soon have more recovered patients,'' she told the briefing.

The new cases come after the UAE carried out an additional 26,195 Covid-19 tests.

Dr. Al Shamsi revealed that the rate of infection does not exceed 0.12 percent of the population of the UAE.

''We reassure the general public that we will spare no effort to address this crisis and curb the spread of the virus,'' she noted.

Dr Al Shamsi offered sincere condolences to the families of the deceased. The nine who passed away died as a result of complications.

Lasting, long-term side effects

Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the UAE health sector, some studies show Covid-19 has lasting, long-term side effects on recovered patients.

“Covid-19 side effects could damage the lungs. Some recovered patients have experienced pulmonary dysfunction and could not perform usual activities, such as walking for long distances, and have shortness of breath,'' she said.

Dr Al Hosani said the advice given to recovered patients is to exercise, like swimming, to stimulate the cardiovascular system and adopt a healthy lifestyle by maintaining a nutritious diet and to refrain from smoking.

Reinfection

Regarding the possibility of reinfection after recovery, Dr Al Hosani said there were no studies on the matter, and research is ongoing.

''The UAE did not record any such case, but there were some cases in other countries because such cases may not have recovered completely or were not subject to thorough testing before leaving the hospital to ensure they were asymptomatic," she said.

In general, she said effects of infection may vary case-by-case depending on the strength of one’s immune system and lifestyle.

Stages of infection

Discussing minor and critical cases, Dr Al Hosani said that the majority of cases do not exhibit symptoms, adding that some may have a slight fever, cough, or sore throat, while others could temporarily lose their sense of smell and taste.

Dr Al Hosani explained the various stages of infection.

"The first stage is the incubation period, when the virus enters the cells of certain parts of the body, such as the throat, trachea, and lungs. This is the period between infection and the onset of symptoms. During this period, a person does not feel sick and may not develop any symptoms at all. The incubation period varies from person to person but ranges from one to 14 days, with an average of five days."

Following this stage, a minor illness could develop, which may be accompanied by the aforementioned symptoms that can be treated by bedrest and a high liquid intake. The patient does not need hospital care at this time, she added.

Dr Al Hosani said that a small percentage of people develop severe symptoms, including inflammation of the lungs, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties, adding that during this stage, some patients require medical intervention on a ventilator, especially those suffering from chronic diseases or those who are smokers or elderly, with a few developing other complications.

Dr Al Hosani said that while many infected people may not show any symptoms and their condition will not require hospitalisation, they can spread the infection to others.

"Therefore, we constantly stress the necessity of following all preventative measures, as well as the importance of self-quarantine and wearing face masks. Although restrictions have been relaxed and we can go outside if necessary, this does not mean that we can be negligent because prevention is mandatory for every individual to protect themselves and those around them. With awareness and a commitment to responsibly following instructions, we can all succeed," she added.

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