Four people from the same Chinese family are infected with coronavirus in the UAE, state news agency WAM on reported on Wednesday.
The family infected with the virus, also known as corona, is from China’s central city of Wuhan, where the first cases of the virus were detected.
The family members are currently in “stable conditions” and will be released in 14 days, Dr. Hussein al-Rand, an assistant undersecretary at the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention, told Al Arabiya English on Thursday.
Despite confirmation of the first case of coronavirus in the country, al-Rand said that there is “nothing to worry about” and that the UAE is following the recommendations of the World Health Organization to contain it from spreading.
A health ministry official said that the four Chinese citizens were from Wuhan and were tourists who arrived in the UAE on January 16.
On Wednesday al-Rand told The Associated Press that there was no reason to panic over the virus. However, he acknowledged Emirati officials were tracing the family's steps since landing.
“Their condition is stable, they are awake, they are all receiving all the measures,” al-Rand said. “I would say to the public: Please, don't be panicked. The health condition within the United Arab Emirates is safe.”
The coronavirus outbreak that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan has killed more than 170 people and has infected more than 7,700 globally, most of them in China. The coronavirus is the latest calamity to strike Wuhan, which has previously been struck by flooding and the SARS virus.
As cases are recorded in an increasing number of countries around the world, other states have begun screening processes in airports for flights coming in from China. Here is a timeline of the spread.
The symptoms of the virus range from nothing to a cough and fever - to eventually death. Al Arabiya English has put together a video and instructions on how to protect yourself from the virus here. The elderly, sick, and children are among those most at risk. Parents can take several steps to protect their children from the virus.
In the Middle East, Jordan has also reported a case of coronavirus.
While heightened fears of the virus in the UAE have led to a shortage of face masks, experts have cautioned against panic.
“At this point, unless you are in China you are much more at risk of being infected with influenza than with this new virus,” said Joseph Eisenberg, chair of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.
- With Agencies