DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) on late Friday afternoon, February 21, announced two new COVID-19 cases, one of them the second Filipino here to test positive for the disease.
"The two new cases are of a 34-year-old Filipino and a 39-year-old Bangladeshi. Their condition is stable," MoHAP said.
MoHAP said the two new patients came into contact with recently confirmed cases of COVID-19, the name of the disease acquired from infection with the novel coronavirus (nCoV-2019).
The two new confirmed cases brought to 11 the total number of COVID-19 patients in the UAE. The Emirates News Agency (ENA) reported that 3 of the cases had fully recovered including 73-year-old Liu Yuji, the first COVID-19 patient to fully recover in the UAE.
The latest cases were announced barely a week after MoHAP confirmed a ninth case in the UAE involving a 37-year-old Chinese, who was diagnosed during a routine check-up and whose condition had stabilized, according to ENA.
1st Filipino case 'getting worse'
With the latest cases, there are now two Filipinos afflicted with the disease here. The first Filipino COVID-19 case is a 43-year-old who tested positive for the disease on February 8.
Gulf News reported that the condition of the first Filipino COVID-19 patient was not improving, citing Marford Angeles, Consul General and Deputy head of the Philippine Embassy.
"The condition of our kababayan (compatriot) is getting worse, Angeles said in the Gulf News report, adding that "the patient is being given maximum health care and support."
MoHap reiterated that it is screening all persons in close contact with the confirmed cases to stem the spread of the disease.
The ministry said it was coordinating with health and other concerned authorities in the country, and had been following a very effective epidemiological monitoring mechanism.
All the necessary precautions to ensure highly efficient preventive measures were taken, including check-ups and observation of people in contact with patients. It was all done as per the guidelines and standards of the World Health Organization (WHO), the ministry added.
It urged the public to follow the preventive procedures and to read the awareness instructions available on its website and the official websites of health authorities in the UAE.
"The public are also advised to adopt protective health behaviors to avoid infectious diseases, including washing hands with soap and clean water, and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing to stop the spread of germs and viruses," the ministry said.
There are approximately 750,000 Filipinos, mostly contract workers, in the UAE.
As of Saturday, February 22, the novel coronavirus outbreak has caused more than 2,200 deaths and infected more than 75,500 in China. Amid the soaring cases, the World Health Organization warned that the window to stem the outbreak was "narrowing." – Rappler.com