On Wednesday, it was confirmed that the first case of coronavirus has appeared in the UAE.
In a statement, the Ministry of Health and Community Protection said the virus was detected in a family coming from the epicenter of the outbreak, Wuhan, the area where the virus is believed to have originated in China. It has not been confirmed how many people have been diagnosed or what hospital the individuals are receiving treatment at.
"The health condition of those infected is stable and under medical observation," the ministry said in its statement. It added that all "necessary precautions" have been taken as per the World Health Organization.
The ministry reassured the public that no one is at risk as they are attempting to report cases as early as possible. Placing a contaminated person in isolation is the first step to limiting the virus' spread. The current coronavirus (nCoV) is said to be highly contagious; scientists at Britain's Imperial College estimate that each coronavirus patient infects on average 2.6 others.
Hospitals across the UAE have been urged to test patients for the virus if they are experiencing certain symptoms. These include coughing, difficulty breathing, and fever. People who have been to China in the last 14 days or have had close contact with an ill person are also being tested.
"The healthcare system is working very efficiently and the ministry is following the situation to ensure the safety and health of everyone in the UAE," the ministry said.
The strain of the current coronavirus has claimed the lives of over 130 people so far and has infected nearly 6,000 individuals across the globe.
There has been increased concern over the spreading of the virus, pushing many airlines to reduce (or even cancel) flights to China until further notice. On Wednesday, Emirates, the state-owned airline, said its flights to the East Asian country were operating normally.
The deadly virus has affected several areas since the outbreak was first reported. Some of the countries that have witnessed cases of coronavirus include the U.S., France, and Australia. The recently detected case in the UAE is the first case to be reported in the Arab region.
Several Arab countries are currently implementing a thorough screening process at their airports. The UAE's Ministry of Health has been sharing tips and updates on its official Twitter page ever since the first case was discovered in the country. These include tips for travelers and general information about the virus.
China has opened its first hospital dedicated to treating the virus
According to the Daily Mail, China has turned an empty building into a 1,000-bed emergency facility in under two days to contain as many patients as possible. Workers and volunteers can be seen in videos offloading beds and adjusting electrical wires into the new hospital; the work started on Saturday.
The Dabie Mountain Regional Medical Centre, near Wuhan, accepted the first batch of infected people at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
"The hospital building in the city's Huangzhou District was originally built as a new branch of Huanggang Central Hospital and expected to open in May," reported the Daily Mail. Local authorities commanded the building to be used for the treatment of coronavirus patients.