Coronavirus: UAE records 536 new cases and 5 deaths, similar rise to day before

A member of medical staff wearing protective gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening center in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Reuters)

The United Arab Emirates reported 536 new cases of coronavirus and five new coronavirus-related deaths on Sunday, according to the UAE Ministry of Health on Twitter.

The death toll in the country is now 76, with the total number of cases at 10,349. There have been 1,978 recoveries, including 91 in the last 24 hours.

The rise is a similar increase to the previous day, when 532 new cases and seven deaths were recorded.

The announcement also said that the UAE had conducted 35,000 tests. On Saturday, the total number of tests in the country surpassed 1 million.

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Cases continue to rise amid relaxed restrictions

The UAE has relaxed restrictions on movement in line with the beginning of Ramadan on Friday, despite cases continuing to rise.

The nationwide curfew, originally lasting from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m., has been reduced to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., the official WAM news agency announced on Thursday.

Before Ramadan, Dubai residents were unable to leave their homes without a permit. Under the new regulations, they do not need a permit and are allowed to have family gatherings of up to 10 people. One outdoor activity such as a jog or bike ride is allowed per day. Gyms, mosques and cinemas among other facilities remain closed.

Abu Dhabi has also eased restrictions, partially reopening malls.

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Testing continues to increase

The rising number of cases in the UAE could reflect an increased detection rate due to more tests being carried out across the country.

More than a million people have now been tested in the UAE, which has a population of almost 10 million.

The high percentage of tests has been enabled by the expansion of testing facilities across the country since late March.

Beginning with a drive-thru test center opened by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on March 28, the country has now established similar drive-thru centers including in Fujairah, Al Ain, and several in Dubai.

The country has also established a massive testing laboratory, in coordination with genomics company BGI and Abu Dhabi technology company Group 42 (G42).

The country has also launched a home-testing service for people with disabilities.

Most recently, it established two testing centers for workers in Abu Dhabi's industrial area of Musaraf.

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