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No COVID-19-related deaths have been recorded for the fourth day in a row in the UAE, announced the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) on August 4. It noted that an additional 227 individuals had fully recovered from the disease, bringing the total number of recoveries to 55,090.

In a statement, MoHAP said that it conducted 29,398 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment. The Ministry added it will continue to expand the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.

The intensified testing campaign has helped detect 189 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the UAE to 61,352. The patients belong to various nationalities, are in a stable condition, and receiving the necessary care.

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At a press briefing on August 3, the UAE government’s official spokesperson Dr Omar Al Hammadi stressed the need to continue to wear masks because of their ability to limit the spread of the disease.

Dr Al Hammadi recommended that children over two years should ideally wear masks, unless they have difficulty in breathing. He said that children are not immune from the virus, especially those who suffer from chronic diseases. Although children are less likely to develop severe symptoms, they can be carriers hence adequate precautions must be taken to save them from infection, he said.

Dr Al Hammadi advised people to follow a healthy lifestyle avoiding negative external interventions such as smoking, sleep disorders, lack of exercise, weight gain and psychological factors, unhealthy diet or using products that claim to stimulate the immune system.

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Key takeaways from the briefing:
• The coronavirus is spread mainly through direct contact with the infected, and through spray coming from coughs and sneezes.
• Use a surgical mask preferably consisting of more than one layer
• A fabric mask that can be regularly washed is also fine.
• Everyone should wear masks, especially those suffering from respiratory symptoms, those who mix with COVID-19 patients, and those who care for the elderly and the chronically ill.
• Sterilise and wash hands before wearing a mask
• Ensure the mask is bound tightly, but not too tight so as to cause difficulty in breathing.
• The best way to remove a mask is to remove the strings around the ears without touching any part of the face, including the nose, mouth and eyes. Then wash or sterilize hands
• Don’t leave the mask hanging under the neck or above the forehead.
• Do not to wear a mask if there is difficulty breathing or to remove it on your own for any reason.
• Swimming pool users should wear a mask as soon as they are out of the water.
• No evidence that the coronavirus passes between people in seawater and swimming pools, especially if the pools are sterile
• Users of swimming pools must observe physical spacing for a distance of not less than 2m; those with respiratory symptoms should refrain from using pools.
• Remember, wearing a mask does not exempt you from physical distancing.
• Mask and social distancing are the two most effective weapons against the virus.