Dr. Omar Al Hammadi, the Official Spokesperson of the UAE Government, addressed a media briefing on Wednesday and explained the details about the current health situation in the country. He also revealed the data and statistics about the COVID-19 situation in the country between October 7 to October 13 as monitored by the concerned authorities.
Addressing the briefing, he stated that 793,642 COVID-19 tests were conducted during this period which is a significant 9 percent increase as compared to the previous week. Furthermore, with 7,814 new infections, there was one percent rise in the number of confirmed cases, which is the same rate as the previous week.
Al Hammadi noted that the UAE's rate of positive cases is lower compared to the European Union at 7.3 percent, the MENA (the Middle East and North Africa region) at 6.6 percent and the OECD countries (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) at 6.3 percent.
During the same period, an increase in the rate of COVID-19 recoveries was also witnessed at 15 percent compared to last week. At the same time, the number of deaths decreased by 45 percent in comparison to the previous week.
Al Hammadi affirmed that the UAE's COVID-19 death rate at 0.4 percent is among the lowest in the world, as compared to EU with 4.4 percent, MENA at 2.4 percent and OECD countries at 3.7 percent.
Later during the briefing, Al Hammadi spoke about the significance of taking care of mental health, noting that is a key factor in strengthening immunity and avoiding the disease. He stated that taking care of mental health will help in boosting both mental and physical immunity during the ongoing pandemic crisis. He revealed the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on the mental and social health of people in the world, creating new psychological circumstances across many communities due to home quarantine, isolation and social distancing norms.
Al Hammadi added that there is research-based evidence that negative mental health can weaken the long-term immunity of the body making them more vulnerable to viruses. In addition, chronic negative mental health can also lead to an increase in cortisone levels, making people increasingly vulnerable to viruses like influenza.
Furthermore, he highlighted that people become exposed to cardiac diseases, tumours, psoriasis and stomach ulcers due to continuous psychological pressure, adding that it is even more necessary for them to take care of their mental health and surroundings. Al Hammadi affirmed that rumours and fake news about the pandemic can also increase the state of panic among the community members threatening their lives.
Therefore, he called for the need to have an honest conversation about the pandemic to the children wherein parents must listen to their concerns and handle them appropriately. Parents must also talk to the children about the preventive and precautionary measures necessary to contain the spread of the virus. At the same time, the UAE government spokesperson also spoke about the need for protecting those individuals suffering from mental illness, such as depression and insomnia, along with virtually supporting those, who contracted the virus and are staying in quarantine, using remote communication.
Al Hammadi said that nice and pleasant words work positively in improving the mental health of the people while negative works and pessimism can have negative implications on the mind.