Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 30 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: health minister urges public to comply with safety measures as Emirati cases rise by 30 per cent

Abdulrahman Al Owais said a failure to act responsibly during gatherings had prompted the spike in infections

Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, held talks with Yuli Edelstein, Israel''s health minister, on Monday.     
Abdulrahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, held talks with Yuli Edelstein, Israel''s health minister, on Monday.     

Minister of Health and Prevention Abdulrahman Al Owais urged the public not to flout Covid-19 safety measures, after a 30 per cent surge in the number of Emiratis contracting the virus.

Mr Al Owais said on Thursday that the steep rise in recent days was the result of citizens failing to comply with regulations put in place for their safety, such as wearing face masks and adopting physical distancing.

He said that the traditions and customs held dear by Emiratis could pose a health risk if people do not act responsibly.

“The main cause of the increased rate of cases is from social visits and gatherings without following the correct precautionary measures,” the minister said.

“During the past few days, a noticeable increase in the number of cases among citizens has been observed, at a rate of a 30 per cent increase.

“During these times, the social ties and customs that are the source of our strength may be a threat to our lives and those of our loved ones.

“We should be keen to protect our families and our friends and be aware that these visits may pose a great danger to them, especially the elderly and people with chronic diseases.”

The strong message was delivered as the UAE recorded 239 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, pushing the total to 61,845.

A further 354 patients were given the all-clear, as the recovery tally rose to 55,739.

The death toll rose to 354, after a patient died.

An additional 50,729 tests were conducted during the reporting period.

Mr Al Owais said the country must remain steadfast in its fight against the global pandemic.

“You [the public] are the main motive behind all the measures and behind all the success we achieve," he said.

“We count on you, we count on your commitment. We are all working to get back to our normal lives.

“We must adhere to precautionary measures to succeed.”

Government spokesman Dr Omar Al Hammadi said it was crucial that people abide by safety measures to support frontline workers battling to protect the health of the public during the pandemic.

“We have seen some reckless behaviour during gatherings," he said.

“We have observed many not implementing physical distancing or wearing masks.

“We must continue our commitment to the measures to reduce the burden on the health sector and give researchers time to develop an active vaccine.

“We want to reap fruits of this commitment.”

Updated: August 6, 2020 10:00 PM

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