Coronavirus: UAE records 552 new Covid-19 cases and 100 recoveries

New figures bring the UAE's tally to 12,481 cases, 2,429 recoveries and 105 deaths since the outbreak

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The UAE identified 552 new cases of coronavirus on Thursday, after conducting 27,000 tests across the country.

The cases bring the country's total to 12,481. The Ministry of Health and Prevention also said 100 people had recovered and seven died of the virus.

The new figures raise the UAE's tally to 2,429 recoveries and 105 total deaths since the outbreak.

On Wednesday, authorities said just 0.12 per cent of the UAE's population had contracted the virus while a fifth of the country's total cases had now recovered.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE health sector, previously explained that a mild to moderate case of Covid-19 can take a patient up to a month to recover from while severe cases take longer still.

On Wednesday, she reminded the public to continue physical distancing protocols and only leave home if absolutely necessary.

"We would like to stress how important it is to maintain physical distance and wear masks. Yes, we have lifted some restrictions but we cannot drop our guard and must continue to protect ourselves and others," she said.

She said most of the UAE's cases were mild to moderate and patients predominantly presented symptoms including fever, throat pain and the inability to smell or taste.

"The virus affects each person differently depending on their physiology and their lifestyle," she said.

Dr Al Hosani described the three stages of coronavirus found in local cases – and worldwide.

She said the virus begins with an incubation stage, when the person who has contracted it is infectious but feels no symptoms. This period lasts up to 14 days and an average of five.

"The second stage is when a patient begins to feel mild symptoms but these can be treated at home. During this time, it is important for the patient to self isolate," said Dr Al Hosani.

These symptoms can develop into the third stage, which includes difficulty breathing. This can develop into pneumonia, requires immediate medical intervention and may result in the need for ventilators.

"Typically only people with underlying health conditions, the elderly or smokers develop severe cases like this," she said.

"There is a large quantity of people who do not feel any symptoms and do not even need to go to hospital but they can pass it on to others. These people must stay indoors to avoid passing on the virus to others."

She said few patients who recover can be left with permanent damage to their lungs. She said these specific cases would experience shortness of breath when going for a walk or exercising after recovering from Covid-19.

Dr Al Hosani said lung capacity can be improved with consistent light exercise, such as swimming, and advised those who have not contracted the virus to improve their immunity by eating well, exercising and not smoking.