Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Medical specialists said a strong immune system is a deterrent to the current global pandemic, Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19).
“Avoid getting into panic mode,” Dubai Health Authority (DHA)-Public Health Protection Department-Preventive Medicine Section head Dr. Abdulla Al Rasasi, was also quoted in the DHA easy-to-understand brief on everything everyone needs to know about the virus.
Further, Al Rasasi said only those who had gone on trips to countries with “widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the last 14 days prior to (known) symptoms or the person (who) has cared for or come into contact with an individual strongly suspected to have (the virus)” are required to go for check-ups immediately.
Al Rasasi said it is a “community obligation to get tested.”
Those who feel they need to go for medical consultations may do so as it is the doctors who are the “experts who will make an assessment.”
The brief was released to the media on Tuesday as Gulf Today received a media statement from Emirates Airlines on precautionary measures, as well as an email from organic diet-and-nutrition/vegan advocate/environmentalist Dr. Nandita Shah from India, regarding her take on COVID-19.
Emirates Airlines chief operating officer Adel Al Redha said: “With the outbreak of COVID-19, some countries have imposed travel restrictions in entry for operating crew and passengers, which has resulted in Emirates having to amend its operating schedule by either reducing frequencies or cancelling flights to specific destinations…The safety and health of our customers and employees is taken very seriously and we are continuously liaising with international and local health organizations to ensure we are following the most up-to-date medical guidelines and directives. We have stepped up aircraft cleaning, and in cases we are alerted to any suspect or confirmed cases of infectious diseases, we will disinfect all cabins of those aircraft.”
As of March 3, Tuesday, the World Health Organization figures on COVID-19 were at 92,235 cases from 77 countries and the infected Diamond Princess. Of the 92,235, classified as active cases (infected patients) were at 40,668, 33,570 (83 per cent) in mild condition and 7,098 (17 per cent) in serious or critical condition.
From the 92,235, 48,437 (94 per cent) had recovered and discharged as 3,131 (six per cent) had succumbed. These were all labelled as “closed cases.”
In relation to a patient’s recovery and treatment, Public Health Protection Department-Health Promotion and Education Section head Dr. Hend Al Awadhi said: “It is a virus so there is only supportive treatment for the disease that helps control the symptoms such as fever and cold. Recovery of the patients depends on (his/her) immune system and the medical care provided. In most cases, patients recover once the body overcomes the virus.”
Shah said: “(COVID-19), like any other virus whether influenza or SARS, can affect anyone who has come in contact with it. It might help to know that the virus is not too deadly, it also resides in healthy carriers.”
“This means that anyone with a high immune system may not succumb to this virus even if they are unfortunate enough to contract it. Building our immunity will not just help us withstand this novel virus, it will also help us build resilience towards other known and unknown viruses,” she also wrote.
Shah said boosting the immune system means it is best to pay more for “food with high nutrients.”
Shah said it is best that everyone be mindful of nature: “It is common sense that we will be healthier if our air, water, land is clean. Yet, we continue to pollute our only home and allow our forests to be decimated.”
Other DHA guidelines and hygiene tips, according to Al Awadhi:
• People with flu or are sick must stay indoors.
• Cover mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
• Wash hands with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid hugs and handshakes.
• For enquiries and concerns, call up DHA Call Centre 800342, Department of Health 8001717 or Ministry of Health and Prevention 80011111.
Compared to last week, the total number of recoveries increased to about 10,000 cases, with a total of 22 deaths, making the mortality rate 0.4% one of the lowest in the world.
“The state has been keen to provide vaccinations to groups of young people and people who are 18 years of age and over, and they contribute more to spreading the disease due to the nature of their lives and the activities they perform. We believe that it is necessary to provide them with the vaccine to limit the increase in cases in the next stage," health official said.
The two new patients who had recovered were also Chinese citizens, a 41-year old man, and his son, who was eight years of age, the ministry said.
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