The UAE Government announced on Wednesday that 27,540 additional COVID-19 tests have been conducted among UAE citizens and residents, resulting in the detection of 883 new cases, taking the total number of infections recorded in the country to 31,969.
This includes those receiving treatment, recovered cases, and deaths. 389 patients have fully recovered from COVID-19 after receiving the necessary medical care, raising the total number of recoveries in the country to 16,371.
The announcement was made during the regular media briefing held in Abu Dhabi. Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, official spokesperson for the UAE Government, provided an update on coronavirus-related developments and measures taken to mitigate its impact.
During the briefing, Dr. Al Shamsi also announced the death of two patients from COVID-19, taking the total number of deaths to 255.
"The number of COVID-19 cases still receiving treatment now stands at 15,343 from different nationalities," she added.
Dr. Al Shamsi addressed several questions from media outlets and the public on the latest measures to contain the virus and the resumption of economic activity in Dubai, as well as the expected date of the country’s return to normalcy.
She also stressed that resuming economic activity is important to the country's continued development, adding that the work of government authorities and in some economic sectors was never halted, and various entities continued working remotely to serve the community.
Dr. Al Shamsi pointed out that the resumption of economic activity around the country aims to support the national economy, but this does not mean that precautionary measures will be lifted. Therefore, all citizens and residents are still required to undertake all possible measures to reduce the spread of the virus and protect themselves, such as wearing face masks, washing hands, and practising social distancing.
"Regarding the gradual return to normal life and amendments to the National Disinfection Programme, they are being assessed by the relevant committees in every emirate to ensure the readiness of local economic sectors to serve the public and take all preventative measures," Al Shamsi said.
Dr. Al Shamsi stressed that since the start of the crisis, the UAE has coordinated between various sectors to limit the spread of the virus, provide the required healthcare, and ensure adherence to preventative measures under the framework of a national plan being jointly implemented by all authorities.
Concerning readiness, she noted that initiatives led by the health sector are continuing and include the National Disinfection Programme, conducting more tests, offering home screening programmes for people of determination and citizens and residents, drive-through testing programmes, and the establishment of field hospitals with thousands of beds and medical staff to care for infected individuals, as well as supporting thousands of health volunteers as part of an integrated system that works around the clock to maintain public health and safety.
Dr. Al Shamsi responded to questions on the rise of infections and its relationship to gatherings, stating that the high percentage of infections is due to exposure resulting from gatherings and the lack of commitment to preventative measures.
She added that recently, a number of infections occurred in some families due to gatherings, highlighting certain violations of precautionary measures by workers and urging everyone to avoid gatherings and crowded places, practice social distancing, and regularly washing their hands.
In light of the latest developments and the country’s efforts to gradually resume economic activity, she stressed that everyone is responsible for their safety and the safety of their families by adhering to official instructions, adding that the next phase will depend on people’s awareness and commitment and affirming that the risks posed by the coronavirus remain.
"Whoever thinks that the resumption of activity means that the pandemic is over is mistaken. The responsibility belongs to the people and the country, and as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said, ‘Everyone is responsible,'" Dr. Al Shamsi noted.