UAE reports 603 new cases; stops use of hydroxychloroquine for serious Covid-19 patients

The total number of cases detected in the country has risen to 40,507

Coronavirus Testing Laboratory

The UAE government reported 603 new Covid-19 cases on Wednesday, June 10, following 47,000 tests conducted to screen for the virus.

The total number of cases detected has risen to 40,507.

Furthermore, it added that another 1,277 patients had made a full recovery, taking the overall number of recoveries up to 24,017.

It also announced the death of one person as a result of the virus, pushing the total number of fatalities to 284.

Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, the official government spokesperson, said that the daily fluctuations in new and recovered Covid-19 cases in the UAE, as well as around the world, are linked to people’s commitment to health practices and other factors. These should not be considered as an indicator that the spread of Covid-19 has been curbed.

“We should continue to follow health practices and abide by the precautionary measures taken [by the UAE Government] to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,” she added.

There are a total of 16,206 people currently being treated for the disease in the UAE.

Dr. Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson for the UAE health sector, said that the medical and scientific community worldwide was evaluating the use of hydroxychloroquine as an effective treatment for Covid-19, reported official news agency WAM.

“There are conflicting studies as to whether hydroxychloroquine is effective in treating Covid-19 but most of them lack accuracy, which prompted us to review the national protocol for treatment in the UAE and based on international practices, limit its use for simple and moderate cases and stop its use for serious cases,” said Al Hosani.

She added though that the current dose of hydroxychloroquine is safe and does not have side effects.

“We are studying all data about the use of hydroxychloroquine in the UAE and will announce the results soon,” she added.

Dr. Fatima Al Kaabi, consultant and head of the Hematology and Oncology Department at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, and senior specialist in research related with the stem cell project, meanwhile added that initial results of the stem cell treatment, administered to 73 Covid-19 patients in the UAE who were moderately or severely ill, were promising.

“They responded very well which means it is an effective therapy,” she said.

Read: GCC Covid-19 update: Saudi reports 3,717 cases; 36 deaths; Kuwait registers 683 cases

“The patients that received stem cells therapy improved faster than those who received the conventional treatment only. The former showed clinical improvement within four days of administering the therapy, while it took the latter an average of eight days to show similar results. The seriously ill patients needed only six days to recover, which is less that the time taken by normal patients to recover who spent 22 days in hospital. All the patients who were treated with stem cells, recovered in less than seven days, three times faster than those treated with conventional methods.”

Al Kaabi added that 67 per cent of the patients receiving stem cell therapy were completely cured.

She confirmed that patients with hemoglobin levels of less than 10, those suffering inflammation in the blood vessels or those receiving chemotherapy for cancer, were excluded, along with patients below the age of 18.

The research team is currently working on several experiments in preparation for the third stage which involves determining the ideal dose and how effective the treatment is for other respiratory diseases like asthma.