The UAE is “completely free” of the new coronavirus that has killed at least 17 people and infected hundreds of others and is spreading across the world, officials have said.
The UAE’s ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) stressed that no case of the virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has been detected so far in the country, official news agency WAM reported.
“The UAE has an effective integrated system and plans for emergency and crisis to address public health risks and that the country is in constant touch with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to find out the latest updates, recommendations and procedures taken in this matter,” the National Committee for International Health Regulations and the Control of Pandemics said in a statement.
The committee said precautionary measures are being undertaken at the UAE’s entry points while awareness leaflets will also be published in different languages for people coming to the country.
The measures being taken are adequate to protect the country against the coronavirus, it added.
“The health situation pose no grounds for concern and the ministry is closely following up on the situation to ensure the health and safety of everyone,” the statement said.
“The health security and risk prevention and pandemics is a national priority in the UAE.”
Officials also stressed that the detected cases worldwide are still limited in spread, compared to other types of epidemics.
So far, at least 500 people have been infected by the virus, with cases outside China confirmed in the US, Hong Kong, Thailand and Taiwan.
China has banned travel from Wuhan, even as authorities struggle to contain the outbreak.
On Wednesday, the WHO delayed a decision on whether to declare the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, a designation used for complex epidemics that can cross borders. The United Nations agency said it would meet again Thursday to determine a strategy.
“This is an evolving and complex situation,” said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO, in a briefing with reporters in Geneva. “To proceed, we need more information.”
With inputs from Bloomberg