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UAE reports 624 new Covid-19 cases, 11 deaths; efforts accelerate to identify virus strains

UAE reports 624 new Covid-19 cases, 11 deaths; efforts accelerate to identify virus strains

The government also announced 458 recoveries, the highest number of daily recoveries reported until now

UAE Covid-19

The UAE reported 624 new Covid-19 infections on May 9, taking the overall number of cases up to 17,417.

There were also 11 additional fatalities confirmed as a result of the virus. The total death toll now stands at 185.

In a significant development, the government also announced 458 recoveries. It is the highest number of daily recoveries reported until now.

Therefore, 4,295 individuals have made a complete recovery after contracting the virus.

The number of coronavirus patients currently receiving treatment totals 12,937.

The new cases were detected following 33,153 tests that were conducted to screen for the virus.

Meanwhile, Dr. Alawi Ali Al Sheikh, spokesperson for the advanced sciences sector in the UAE explained the developments that the country was making in identifying the different strains of the virus, reported official news agency WAM.

He said that the Mohammed bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, the Dubai Health Authority, and Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital have already undertaken a study to sequence viral samples from 240 patients with Covid-19.

“When the virus takes over human cells, it turns them into factories producing millions of new viruses, and like every other virus, slight changes take place in the genetic strains of the virus in which new strains are developed,” explained Al Sheikh.

In January 2020, researchers in China published the first sequencing of the novel coronavirus from a patient in Wuhan.

That sequenced strain was considered the original strain of the virus and this sequencing was considered the reference sequence of the virus, he added.

Dr. Al Sheikh said that based on a study published two weeks ago, three strains were identified.
The main strain is strain A, and then there are two other strains derived from it, which are strains B and C.

“After less than three weeks of announcing the genetic sequencing of the virus in the UAE, we have findings for 49 Covid-19 patients, as well as the complete genetic sequencing for 25 of the early cases in the UAE.”

Based on those 25 cases, there are two strains in the UAE, 24 of which were found to have strain B of the virus, and most of them were related to travel to Europe.

Read: Dubai completes first genome sequencing of Covid-19 virus

He said that there is only one case that had strain A of the virus and it was of a Chinese tourist from Wuhan.

Furthermore, 88 percent of the early cases did not have any symptoms or only had mild symptoms.

The findings also suggest that there are 70 mutations in the UAE in the existing strains, 17 of which are yet to be identified by any research body globally.

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