Coronavirus: Rise in Covid-19 cases was expected, health official says

Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the health sector, said a vaccine would be crucial to the fight against the pandemic

A rise in Covid-19 cases across the Emirates was expected as the global community continues efforts to combat the virus, a UAE health official said.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, a director of the Department of Health Abu Dhabi, stressed that the increase in cases is expected to continue as countries attempt to fully resume activities.

She said the launch of a Covid-19 vaccine would be crucial to stemming the spread of the pathogen.

Dr Al Hosani said the vaccine had three goals - to prevent new infections, stop the dangerous effects of the virus on patients and limit the spread of the virus from person to person.

 

It was announced last week that Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine will be tested in the UAE.

Phase-3 trials will be overseen by Abu Dhabi's public hospital operator Seha, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the Department of Health Abu Dhabi.

The UAE was chosen as a partner for Chinese drug maker Sinopharm's Phase-3 trial in July.

"The noticeable increase in the number of infections in the country is not an exception, and it is part of an increase in most countries," Dr Al Hosani said during the country's regular media briefing on Tuesday.

"This increase is expected to continue in the next phase."

She said UAE's rising cases were part of a "global pattern of trying to gradually return to normal life and the return of activities in various sectors".

Dr Omar Al Hammadi, the official spokesman for the briefing, noted that the rate of positive cases from testing remained about 1 per cent. He added that recoveries have outweighed new cases with an increase by 9 per cent in the past week.

The seven-day average of infections nationwide had risen from about 1,100 to almost 1,400.

Health authorities carried out close to 770,000 tests during this time period.

Case numbers have remained above 1,000 for 18 of the 20 days in October, hitting a record high of 1,538 on Saturday.

Despite the rising daily figures, active cases have been slowly decreasing since October 4, when more than 10,200 people were battling Covid-19 across the Emirates.

The highest number of active cases reported was 17,173 on June 4.

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