Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 28 September 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: UAE announces 484 new cases and two deaths as more than 25,000 further tests are conducted

A total of 1,360 people have made full recoveries as UAE outlines measures in place to ensure patients are virus-free

Latest: UAE reports 490 new cases on Tuesday taking total to 7,775

The UAE recorded 484 new coronavirus cases on Monday, pushing the country's total to 7,265.

A further 74 patients made full recoveries from Covid-19, bringing the number to have beaten the virus up to 1,360.

Another two people - both from Asian countries - died after contracting the virus. A total of 43 patients have died in the Emirates since the outbreak emerged.

Speaking at the country's regular media briefing, Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE health sector, said the UAE had conducted another 25,795 tests.

Dr Al Hosani issued a plea to mothers to ensure their children receive all required vaccinations to boost their health.

"The clear message to all mothers is they must make sure children are vaccinated, regardless of the situation. There can be no delay," she said.

"The UAE is keen to provide all required vaccinations to all sections of the community, children and adults, to protect against communicable diseases."

Asked to comment on concerns that recovered patients could still contract the virus again, Dr Al Hosani asserted that many such instances could be put down to insufficient testing.

She said many patients believed to have been clear of the virus could in fact still have been infected when released from hospital.

She said health officials in the UAE are adopting strong measures to ensure patients are virus-free.

"It has been the case that people have not recovered fully and this relates to accuracy of screening in hospitals.

"We repeat tests at least twice before patients are discharged."

During the briefing, Sheikh Omar Al Darei, member of the UAE Fatwa Council, confirmed an earlier announcement on Monday regarding fasting during Ramadan.

He reiterated that healthcare workers would be allowed to break fast during working hours if they felt it would "weaken their immunity and affect patients."

Covid-19 patients would also be granted the opportunity to exempt themselves from fasting during the holy month, as could elderly members of the community suffering from serious illnesses.

"Those who are capable of fasting should fast," said Sheikh Al Darei.

He reaffirmed that mosques would remain closed during Ramadan and Eid prayer gatherings would not take place.

Earlier on Monday, the UAE Fatwa Council stated that Eid Al Fitr prayers, which are held at fajr – or sunrise – could be performed individually in homes without a sermon, should the situation not ease by then.

Families who live in the same house can pray together but the council said congregating to perform the prayer could endanger lives, which is strictly forbidden in Islam, so should be avoided.

Mohammed Al Fahim, spokesman for Emirates Red Crescent, said during the briefing that the charitable organisation was working hard to support people affected by the pandemic.

He said they have supplied children with devices to continue their online learning, distributed sanitisers and masks to the health sector and handed out meals to people in need. ERC has also worked with landlords to help exempt people from paying rent.

Updated: April 21, 2020 04:21 PM

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