By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi/Abu Dhabi: The oil-rich Gulf kingdom United Arab Emirates (UAE) is exploring a possible treatment COVID-19 by using convalescent plasma therapy as on Friday, the country has witnessed 477 new cases of COVID-19 and two deaths.
According to the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the latest cases were detected after conducting more than 24,000 COVID-19 tests, using the best and latest medical screening techniques. This brings the total number of cases diagnosed in the country to 6,302; while there have been 1,188 recoveries and 37 deaths so far.
The Health Ministry also announced that the country is researching convalescent plasma therapy, using blood plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to explore a possible treatment.
It has opened 13 new drive-through testing centers across the UAE. Built over a period of 10 days, each center can test approximately 600 people daily. The National Home Testing Program for People of Determination was also launched to ensure adequate access to testing for all members of the public.
Lauding the efforts of Covid-19 response team, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, asked the team members to take care of their safety. In a video call with national team leaders handling the COVID-19 response, he said, to follow up on their work and safety while offering them all necessary support.
Despites this unprecedented health crisis, UAE has supplied 11 metric tons of aid to Ukraine in the fight against COVID-19. The shipment, which contained hundreds of thousands of pieces of personal protective equipment, will benefit over 10,000 healthcare workers.
UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Anwar Gargash has discussed the COVID-19 situation in Syria, Libya, and Lebanon with respective UN envoys.
US has lauded the approach of UAE government in tackling this deadly virus. John Rakolta, US Ambassador to UAE, said, “At a moment like this, I would like to commend the Government of the United Arab Emirates for leading in this time of crisis, and for its close partnership with the United States of America…”
Tony Blair Institute for Global Change also praised the UAE government. “There is much to be learned from the approaches of [countries] such as South Korea, Singapore and Iceland, but perhaps none more so than the UAE…the country’s success lies in its efficiency and inventiveness.”
Meanwhile, the government has extended the suspension of prayers in all places of worship across the country until further notice.
It has also announced that Etihad Airways will be operating special flights from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta, Manila, Melbourne, Seoul, Singapore, Tokyo, Amsterdam, Brussels, Dublin, London and Zurich up until April21.