ABU DHABI, Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention, has stressed that the UAE was among the first countries that stocked up sufficient quantities of materials required for state-of-the-art checkups to detect the new Coronavirus.
More than 500 staff members work round the clock on communication, medical investigations and logistical support related to combating the virus, he disclosed.
The minister made the statement while briefing the Federal National Council on the new Coronavirus. "As soon as the spread of the virus was reported from China, we made available enough quantities of thermometers at the border crossings and airports. We also took all necessary precautions in line with World Health Organisation, WHO, protocols," he explained.
The minister said that the country had adequate reserves of necessary medical supplies such as surgical masks, medical gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. "In addition to these, the several factories inside the country continue to manufacture them to the best international standards," he assured.
The minister explained that the incubation period for the disease according to the WHO ranged from one day to 11, with some exceptional cases in which it could last up to 16 days.
"All the cases detected in the UAE are so far stable. All those who had contact with the affected and the places they have frequented have been reached, and all the necessary steps to preempt the spread of the infection have been taken," he stressed.
Al Owais pointed out that the preparedness of health institutions in both the public and private sectors had been enhanced. "Isolation wards are allocated in all of them. Laboratories in government institutions are readied for testing the virus. Protective gears have been provided to health care providers. The level of preparedness at the airports have been upgraded, including at national civil aviation companies. We are also in a position to evacuate our people with no time lag once the decision has been taken," he elaborated.
He also explained the various steps taken by the Government to deal with the Coronavirus threat, such as the activation of the National Operations Centre, and coordination with the WHO and Chinese authorities to assess the risks.
The minister emphasised that the UAE received much appreciation from the WHO and Arab Regional Centre for its prompt handling of the detected cases. The transparency with which the UAE dealt with the situation, particularly its allocation of a communication center in Mandarin language for enquiries and for providing information on suspected cases, came in for special praise.
In conclusion, the Minister said that the UAE remained in constant touch with the WHO to keep itself posted of the latest developments. The UAE will take part in a global meeting to discuss the latest developments with regard to the Coronavirus infection, he added.
Source: Emirates News Agency