Coronavirus: UAE tally at 35 deaths, 5,825 cases, as it conducts 25,000 new tests

A member of medical staff wearing a protective face mask and gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, March 30, 2020. (Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates detected on Thursday two new deaths due to the coronavirus and 460 new cases of infection, as it conducted an additional 25,000 tests, raising the total death toll to 35 people and the total number of cases to 5,825.

The number of recovered patients increased by 61, to reach a total of 1,095 recovered patients.

Visit our dedicated coronavirus site here for all the latest updates.

Health Ministry Spokeswoman Dr. Farida al-Hosani had said earlier this week that the number of confirmed cases has been increasing almost daily as a result of the high number of tests being administered, which helps identify those who are infected as well as people they came into contact with and therefore making it easier to quarantine and contain.

Separately, the spokeswoman said on Wednesday that health professionals in the UAE have observed that most of the patients who fully recovered from the coronavirus followed health behaviors that helped strengthen their immune systems.

"In most cases of recoveries, we noticed that they have followed several daily health behaviors, such as doing exercise, eating a healthy diet, strengthening the immune system, and maintaining an ideal weight, as well as abstaining from bad habits, such as smoking and unhealthy eating," she said.

She also stressed the importance of periodic temperature checks at home: “We highlight the importance of periodic temperature checks for family members at home. This step is one of the health measures that we are encouraging. Everyone who has a high temperature must contact the nearest health center or hospital or go to a drive-through testing center because personal health is linked to the health of those around us and we are responsible for it. There is no room for hesitation in protecting our families.”

Coronavirus treatment

The UAE has been using chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to successfully treat COVID-19 patients amid the coronavirus outbreak, according to the health ministry.

Initial studies have shown success in using the anti-malarial and anti-inflammatory drugs in treating the illness caused by the new coronavirus, spokeswoman al-Hosani said on Saturday during a press conference.

Doctors in the UAE continue to monitor of the affect the drugs have on reducing the duration of a patient’s illness and the severity of their symptoms, explained al-Hosani.

Also, Dubai's health authority (DHA) said on Sunday it will start this week treating critical coronavirus patients using plasma from recovered patients, after the clinical efficacy of the treatment has been proven.

The Director of Dubai Health Care Corporation at the Dubai Health Authority, Dr. Younis Kazim, said the authority has introduced a protocol for this type of treatment in its hospitals and private health sector hospitals in Dubai, as part of the measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus and accelerate the treatment of patients.

Dr. Kazim added that the DHA outlined rules and guidelines to specify who can make based plasma donations and who is eligible to receive this treatment.

Plasma is the liquid part of the blood which carries cells and proteins through the body, when taken from a convalescent – someone who has recovered from an illness – it contains antibodies that can fight said illness.

“Doctors believe the plasma of patients who have completely recovered from COVID-19 is rich in antibodies that can fight off the virus. When such plasma is injected into another person with the disease, it will recognize the virus as something to attack,” Dr. Kazim added.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 10:06 - GMT 07:06
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