Coronavirus: UAE officials announce 331 new cases

Ministry of Health and Prevention says 29 more patients have recovered from infection

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UAE authorities announced 331 new cases of coronavirus late on Thursday.

Officials said another 29 patients had recovered from the infection and there were two more deaths.

A total of 2,990 people in the Emirates are now reported to have contracted Covid-19, while 268 have fully recuperated.

More than half a million people across the country have been tested, including more than 40,000 in the last two days alone, and 14 patients have died.

The pandemic, which began in Wuhan, China, continues to have a devastating impact on public health around the world.

As of April 9, more than 1.5 million people around the world had contracted the disease and more than 93,000 had died.

Almost 348,000 people have recovered from the virus while about 48,000 patients remain in serious or critical conditions across 209 countries or territories.

In the UAE, officials from the Ministry of Health and Prevention continue to monitor the outbreak closely.

On Thursday, officials announced the opening of 13 new drive-through Covid-19 screening centres manned by 630 medical, nursing, technical and administrative staff who have been trained to test patients in less than five minutes.

Meanwhile in Italy, officials said they might consider easing the country's lockdown measures at the end of this month after rates of infection slowed to 1 per cent.

But Giuseppe Conte, the Prime Minister, also warned that the EU risked collapse if the wider response to the Covid-19 pandemic was mishandled.

A fortnight ago, daily infection rates in Italy were at 7 per cent, with the decline suggesting the national lockdown imposed on March 9 was working.

In the UK on Thursday, the government reported 1.2 million additional universal credit welfare claims had been filed since March 16.

The economy unexpectedly contracted in February, putting it on an unsteady footing before the nation imposed more stringent restrictions to contain the coronavirus.

GDP fell 0.1 per cent from January, driven by a huge drop in construction, the Office for National Statistics said.

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits has also surged.

More than 6.6 million people filed jobless claims in the week ending April 4 and more than 16 million made claims over the past three weeks.