x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 17 January 2018

Health Authority Abu Dhabi tests for Sars-like virus that killed Emirati

While there are no confirmed cases in emirate, Haad is coordinating with Ministry of Health and Dubai Health Authority to monitor for the novel coronavirus (NCoV).

Dhabi's Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre is handling testing for the novel coronavirus. Philip Cheung / The National
Dhabi's Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre is handling testing for the novel coronavirus. Philip Cheung / The National

ABU DHABI // The emirate's health authority today confirmed that it is working with the Ministry of Health and other bodies to monitor a Sars-like virus.

Heath Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) released a statement confirming it is coordinating with the ministry, Dubai Health Authority and other concerned authorities in the country in monitoring the coronavirus.

The statement comes after an Emirati man died in a hospital in Munich, Germany, last week after contracting the novel coronavirus (NCoV) infection.

It is not known where he contracted the virus, although he had recently visited Saudi Arabia, where most cases have originated.

The Emirati was 73 and had been transferred by air ambulance to Munich from an Abu Dhabi hospital on March 19 before his death on March 26.

He was receiving cancer treatment in Germany, state news agency Wam said.

The man is the 11th person to die out of 17 cases reported to the World Health Organisation (Who).

Haad said it has taken the necessary measures and precautions, as per the international standards and recommendations issued by Who.

"The authority confirms that there are no confirmed cases in the emirate and that the necessary test is available in the emirate of Abu Dhabi at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City," the statement read.

Fred DeGrandis, the chief executive of Sheikh Khalifa Medical Centre, said assessments by his emergency department staff would determine whether a patient requires further testing.

He said there is a three-point checklist – a rash, a fever and a history of working with livestock – that would trigger further assessment, though no patient has yet displayed signs of all three.

Haad said it is the responsibility of healthcare providers to refer patients who may be suspected of having the coronavirus to go for the test.

* This is an updated version of this story.