Picture used for illustrative purpose only.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHaP) on Monday said there were no reported cases of “Novel Coronavirus” in the UAE as it also encouraged everyone to take precautionary measures against this new form of coronavirus, first spotted and upon investigation, confirmed to have erupted in Wuhan City, Hubei Province in Central China on Dec. 31, 2019.
MoHaP-Health Centres and Clinics Sector assistant undersecretary Dr. Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand in a press release said the government agency “has taken all precautionary measures in cooperation with strategic partners, and is ready to deal with any travel-related coronavirus cases to be detected in the country. We advise everyone to follow preventive measures (from) educational flyers available on our website and official channels.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) which issues alerts and advisories on outbreaks and epidemics to governments, stated in its website that “Novel Coronavirus is a new strain of the large family of respiratory viruses that can cause diseases ranging from common cold to the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome.”
On Jan. 9, Chinese media had reported on cases of this “mysterious viral pneumonia,” quoting findings of medical authorities on people demonstrating signs and symptoms of respiratory/flu-like infections/pneumonia who had gone to a wholesale seafood and animal market in Wuhan in late December 2019.
The WHO alert stated: "Some cases were operating dealers or vendors in Huanan Seafood Market (in Wuhan).”
Specific signs and symptoms demonstrated by the patients were “fever, difficulty in breathing and chest radiographs showing bilateral lung infiltrates.”
The global Centres for Disease Control and Prevention alongside Chinese and Japanese media had reported of 41 confirmed infections, “exported cases to Thailand and Japan,” two deaths in China and one in Japan—the Japanese male having travelled to Wuhan and was in close contact with a pneumonia-stricken person.
Al Rand stressed that MoHaP “has made sure that all ports are on standby to handle coronavirus cases,” standard and necessary procedures are applied in any detection, and the consequent transport of patients to “specific hospitals.”
WHO stated: “It would be prudent to reduce the general risk of acute respiratory infections while travelling in or from affected areas (currently Wuhan City).”
Everyone is advised to avoid close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections; wash hands especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment; avoid close contact with live or dead farm or wild animals; and adopt the cough etiquette (maintain distance, cover cough and sneeze with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands).
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