UAE urges public to stay positive amid rising stress of Covid-19 pandemic

Psychological pressure of the pandemic is causing more issues, officials say

The UAE has urged the public to stay positive amid the rising stress caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a briefing on Tuesday, Dr Omar Al Hammadi said the psychological pressure of the coronavirus crisis could cause more health issues.

Dr Al Hammadi, the Government briefing spokesman, said this could lead people to develop heart disease, stomach ulcers, tumours and psoriasis.

He also urged people to take care of their mental health and their surroundings, stressing that unverified news and rumours may increase panic in the community.

"The Covid-19 pandemic has caused psychological and social effects worldwide, creating a new psychological situation for individuals due to the rules of social distancing and home isolation," he said.

"People suffering illnesses such as depression and insomnia must be protected ... in addition to the elderly and those with chronic diseases."

It comes as the UAE recorded the highest daily number of cases so far.

The UAE Ministry of Health announced 1,315 cases of coronavirus on Tuesday, the highest reported number since the pandemic began.

This brings the country's total number of infections to 108,608. Another 1,452 recoveries and two deaths were also reported.

But Dr Al Hammadi said it was important for people to stay optimistic, take news from trusted sources and also for parents to talk to their children

"We have to spend time with our children and talk to them honestly about the pandemic in order to listen to their concerns and address them appropriately."

He said that long-term mental health issues not only makes people vulnerable to diseases but also hampers the immune system.

"Chronic negative mental health can increase cortisone levels, which will make people vulnerable to viruses, including influenza," he said.

"Nice words have a positive effect on everyone while pessimism and negative words may lead to negative implications."

Dr Al Hammadi also outlined recent UAE efforts to tackle the Covid-19 disease.

The UAE recorded an increase in recoveries by 15 per cent, while close to 800,000 tests were carried out between October 7 to 13.

Positive cases diagnosed from total tests remains at 1 per cent - one of the lowest in the world.