Filipino among UAE’s new confirmed cases of novel coronavirus

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, February 22) — A Filipino was one of two new confirmed cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), bringing the total number of cases in the country to 11, a statement Friday from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said.

The ministry said COVID-19 was detected in a 34-year old Filipino and 39-year-old Bangladeshi. But they are now both in stable condition, it added.

The Health Ministry also noted that the new reported cases had close contact with the recently confirmed case of a Chinese citizen.

The Department of Foreign Affairs also confirmed the news, citing the Philippine Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

This is the second Filipino in the UAE who tested positive for COVID-19. The DFA said the earlier case - a 43-year-old man who was confirmed to be infected on February 8 - has been transferred to a medical facility "as his condition is not improving."

Of the 11 cases in the Arab nation, three of them have fully recovered.

The UAE government has since suspended passenger flights to mainland China, with the exception of Beijing. 

The ministry also affirmed it was screening all persons who had close contact with the confirmed cases to avoid spreading the disease.

It also said that it was coordinating with other concerned authorities and had been following necessary precautions and monitoring per the guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO).

“All the necessary precautions to ensure highly efficient preventive measures were taken, including check-ups and observation of people in contact with patients,” the ministry said.

The ministry added, “The public are also advised to adopt protective health behaviors to avoid infectious diseases, including washing hands with soap and clean water, and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing to stop the spread of germs and viruses.”

The WHO had so far reported more than 76,000 confirmed cases globally. Meanwhile, 2,239 deaths were already reported in China since the virus emerged from the Wuhan province.