UAE reports 1,388 new Covid-19 cases

Daily infection rates have declined steadily in July

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The UAE reported 1,388 new Covid-19 cases on Thursday after 287,895 tests were carried out.

The latest cases take the overall tally of coronavirus infections to 978,966 since the epidemic began more than two years ago.

Another 1,282 people beat the virus, as total recoveries climbed to 958,728.

One coronavirus-related death was recorded in the 24-hour reporting period, taking the toll to 2,329.

More than 174 million PCR tests have been conducted since the first case in the Emirates was reported on January 29, 2020.

Daily infection rates have steadily declined in July, having topped 1,800 at the start of the month.

The spike of cases in June coincided with the spread of the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which were responsible for increases in Europe and the US.

In recent weeks, virologists have expressed concerns about the Centaurus coronavirus sub-variant that is spreading fast in India and Europe, which could be more contagious than other strains and better at surpassing immunity afforded by vaccines and previous infection.

Centaurus, or BA.2.75, is a sub-variant of the Omicron strain that was first detected in India in early May, and has so far reached 14 countries, including Australia, Japan, Canada, the US, UK, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

However, it is not known yet whether it is more transmissible or associated with more severe cases of Covid-19 disease. The World Health Organisation has designated BA.2.75 as a sub-variant "under monitoring".

Researchers in the Netherlands said the variant could be more contagious than previous forms of the virus, as it continues to mutate to evade immunity that has developed in populations since Covid-19 first broke out in 2020.

The Omicron has had five sub-variants that are being monitored closely.

Updated: July 21, 2022, 10:13 AM