UAE’s fifth coronavirus case: man’s family tests negative

The male patient arrived in the country from the virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan

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The family of a man diagnosed with coronavirus after travelling to the UAE are "clear" of infection, a health ministry official confirmed.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the tourist,  who arrived in the country with his family from the virus-hit Chinese city of Wuhan, was stable and receiving treatment.

He is the fifth confirmed case in the country.

Dr Hussein Al Rand, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, told The National on Sunday that "his family did not show any symptoms and is clear of the virus".


Dr Al Rand said the man was not diagnosed at an airport but at a medical facility in the country.

Health officials did not disclose the emirate the man and his family were staying in or where he is receiving treatment.

"There is no reason to panic as we have all preventive measures in place to deal with such cases," Dr Al Rand said.

The UAE reported its first case on January 29 when a Chinese family on holiday were given positive coronavirus diagnoses.

The mother, father, nine-year-old girl and grandmother from Wuhan were confirmed to have the virus after visiting a health clinic a week into their trip.

They arrived in the Emirates on January 16 and took the grandmother to a doctor with flu-like symptoms on January 23, a health official said.

Officials are retracing the family's movements to identify people with whom they may have come into contact with. All four are stable and under close observation.

The virus causes severe acute respiratory infection and can be accompanied with cold and flu-like symptoms.

There is no specific cure or vaccine, although HIV drugs have shown promise, according to reports that claimed anti-retroviral drugs were used to cure a patient in China.

“It usually affects the upper respiratory tract but when it gets worse, the infection spreads to the lower respiratory tract and that’s when the patient develops pneumonia," said Dr Sherbaz Bichu, chief executive of Aster Hospitals in the UAE.

“Sometimes a carrier of coronavirus is very difficult to identify as he/she may not show symptoms.

“The child who tested positive for coronavirus in the UAE was shedding the virus but showed no symptoms at all.

"We should remember there is no spot test available and the patient needs to be observed," Dr Bichu said.