Monday, September 27, 2021

‘UAE among world’s first countries to receive medicine for COVID-19’

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ABU DHABI: The UAE was among the first countries of the world to receive a shipment of Sotrovimab, one of the most successful anti-viral medicine in treating mild to moderate COVID-19 cases, said Dr. Noura Al Ghaithi, Acting Executive Director of UAE’s External Therapeutic Services during a media briefing.

Dr Al Ghaithi pointed out that relevant national authorities have exerted all possible efforts to contain the pandemic, in cooperation with the health sector, since the start of the crisis, by implementing a proactive plan that will reinforce the country’s readiness to face pandemics.

“We advise eligible individuals to urgently get the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and the community and support the national efforts aimed at achieving herd immunity and reaching recovery,” Dr. Al Ghaithi said.

Studies have proven the success of the drug, Sotrovimab, which prevents complications leading to death by 97 percent and ICU admissions by 99.5 percent, with full recovery being achieved within 14 days after taking the drug at a rate of 99 percent and hospitalisations being reduced by 20 percent she explained, affirming that 13,000 people in the UAE have taken the drug, which is available around the country and can be used to treat adults and children over the age of 12.

“The UAE was among the first countries of the world to receive a shipment of Sotrovimab, one of the most successful anti-viral medicine in treating mild to moderate COVID-19 cases among high-risk patients including adults, pregnant women and children aged 12 and above who are at risk of progressing to severe symptoms and meet other relevant criteria.”

“Therefore, we stress the importance of quickly heading to health centres to receive adequate treatment and healthcare,” she added.

“We also stress the importance of adhering to COVID-19 related protocols and contacting health authorities as soon as possible to ensure prompt treatment, which will accelerate the pace of recovery,” she further said.

Dr. Al Ghaithi explained that the UAE is keen to monitor its citizens travelling to other countries, noting that after the outbreak of the pandemic, the “We Are With You” action team was formed, in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC) and representatives of local health authorities, to monitor Emiratis infected while abroad.

She then urged travellers to check the health situation in the country they wish to visit before travelling, highlighting the importance of taking both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before their travels, as well as buying appropriate international medical insurance, registering in the ministry’s “Twajudi” service, and adhering to related precautionary measures, such as wearing face masks, practising social distancing and sanitising hands.

If Emirati travellers test positive for coronavirus, they are required to contact the country’s diplomatic missions abroad, their medical insurance company or their airline to cover treatment costs, she said, stressing that the role of the community in the coming period is as important as the role of relevant authorities in addressing the pandemic.

She then expressed her confidence in the public’s adherence to the precautionary measures, which underscores the community’s level of awareness and its keenness to protect everyone’s health.

Protecting everyone’s safety reflects the community’s sense of responsibility, especially when visiting elderly people, she added while calling on the public to protect everyone’s health and safety and undergo required tests to avoid infecting the elderly.

“We need to adapt to a new and safer way of life and advise everyone to undergo necessary tests and fully adhere to relevant precautionary measures, such as wearing face masks and practising social distancing. We also advise unvaccinated people to quickly take the vaccine, as this is key to eliminating the virus and curbing its spread,” Dr. Al Ghaithi said in conclusion.

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