Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad bin Nasser Al Owais, Minister of Health and Prevention (MoHaP), has stressed that the UAE has an adequate stock of medicines and medical supplies to combat the coronavirus.
As of February 12, the UAE has 8 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, with one patient having made a full recovery.
While briefing the Federal National Council (FNC) on the new coronavirus, the Minister noted that the UAE was among the first countries that stocked up on sufficient quantities of medical logistics required for state-of-the-art check-ups to detect the virus.
As soon as initial reports on the virus arrived from China, the UAE health authorities made available enough quantities of thermometers at border crossings and airports, Al Owais stated.
MoHaP had more than 500 staff members working round the clock on communication, medical investigations and logistical support related to combating the virus, the Minister disclosed, adding that all necessary precautions taken by MoHaP are in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) protocols.
Al Owais also said that besides medicines, the country had adequate reserves of necessary medical supplies such as surgical masks, medical gloves, goggles, and protective clothing. Moreover, several factories inside the country continue to manufacture them to the best international standards, he assured.
Al Owais also briefed the council about the enhanced preparedness of health institutions in both the public and private sectors such as allocation of isolation wards, readying laboratories for virus testing, providing protective gear to health care providers as well as evacuation plans for Emiratis from foreign countries should the need arise.
Besides this, the government has also activated the National Operations Centre and coordinated with the WHO and Chinese authorities to assess the risks.
The Emirati government has been lauded by the WHO and Arab Regional Centre for its prompt handling of the detected cases and the transparency with which it dealt with the situation. Its allocation of a communication center in the Mandarin language for enquiries and for providing information on suspected cases, came in for special praise, in particular, the minister noted.
The Minister concluded that the UAE remained in constant touch with the WHO to keep itself posted of the latest developments and will take part in a global meeting to discuss the latest developments with regard to the coronavirus infection.