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People who recovered from COVID-19 in UAE followed healthy behaviours, says spokesperson of health sector

Most of the patients who fully recovered from coronavirus, COVID-19 in the UAE, followed healthy behaviours that helped strengthen their immune systems, said Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector.

Dr. Farida made the remarks during the UAE Government’s regular briefing on the latest developments related to the spread of coronavirus in the country, which was held today in Abu Dhabi.

During the briefing, Dr. Farida Al Hosani, Official Spokesperson for the UAE Health Sector, spoke about the precautionary measures that aimed to prevent the spread of the virus.

Ammar Al Muaini, Official Spokesperson of the National Programme for Happiness and Quality of Life, also explained the outcomes of the “National Mental Health Programme.”

Recovery process related to various factors During the briefing, Dr. Al Hosani affirmed that recorded cases in the country, especially recoveries, were related to key factors and reasons.

“In most cases of recoveries, we noticed that they have followed several daily health behaviours, such as doing exercise, eating a healthy diet, strengthening the immune system, and maintaining an ideal weight, as well as abstaining from bad habits, such as smoking and unhealthy eating. The psychological aspect is also important, and it is necessary to support the mental health of individuals, along with their physical health,” she said.

“These practices, which we always emphasise and promote, will help raise a person’s immunity and resistance to diseases, in addition to medicines, and can speed up the process of recovering from disease,” she added.

Periodic temperature checks at home Dr. Al Hosani also talked about the importance of not being complacent if one’s temperature rises. “We highlight the importance of periodic temperature checks for family members at home. This step is one of the health measures that we are encouraging. Everyone who has a high temperature must contact the nearest health centre or hospital or go to a drive-through testing centre because personal health is linked to the health of those around us and we are responsible for it. There is no room for hesitation in protecting our families,” she stressed.

Importance of covering nose and mouth when going out Dr. Al Hosani highlighted the importance of covering the nose and mouth, whether by wearing surgical, paper or cloth masks, or any other covering or clothing.

“This procedure is important for everyone leaving home to avoiding the transmission of any infection and preserving the safety of everyone, along with leaving a safe physical distance between people in public places, markets and workplaces, and following the precautions,” she affirmed.

High temperatures and relationship to coronavirus Regarding high temperatures and its relationship to coronavirus, Dr. Al Hosani said, “All studies that attempt to understand the relationship between the virus and climate have not been able to confirm that higher temperatures will help kill the virus. We are continuing to monitor the results of these studies.”

National plan to deal with crises proactively Dr. Al Hosani noted that the UAE is keen to deal with the virus and limit its spread, as well as respond to any related developments. “Drive-through testing centres have been opened, as well as a strategic inventory of medicines and food. We have a national plan to deal with the crises proactively based on different scenarios, under the leadership of the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, NCEMA. This can only be achieved in cooperation and coordination with all national agencies and sectors, and the plan’s requirements are evaluated along with studies conducted by researchers in the country,” she further said.

“Don’t Worry” campaign to promote mental health.

Al Muaini explained the details and developments of the national campaign, titled, “Don’t Worry,” which aims to support the mental health of community members.

“The UAE Government, represented by the National Programme for Happiness and Quality of Life, has launched, under the current circumstances, the national campaign, titled, “Don’t Worry,” that aims to provide psychological support to members of society facing the repercussions of the novel coronavirus, in line with relevant national efforts,” Al Muaini said.

“The campaign reflects the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, affirming that quality of life is a high priority, and health is the most important pillar of quality of human and society,” Al Muaini added.

Al Muaini stated that the phrase, “Don’t Worry,” is profound in its meaning, according to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, and reassures everyone that everything will be fine. “Today, the concept of health is not limited to physical health, but it also includes mental health. During this period, and due to the social, professional, and educational changes that directly affect our lives, we need to support and enhance our mental health to overcome these challenges,” he further added.

Key components of the campaign Al Muaini said that over 50 specialists, psychologists and social workers are voluntarily participating in the national campaign to serve the country, which includes three main components focussing on providing psychological support to all members of society, especially as this type of support is one of the necessary community needs during the current circumstances.

The first component, “Let’s Support Together,” aims to answer inquiries regarding psychological challenges, provide educational advice, and support individuals in facing challenges, through daily live broadcasts on the social media networks of the National Programme for Happiness and Quality of Life, “@HappyUAE.” Two events are broadcasted every day, with the first being at 17:30 in English and the second at 20:30 pm in the Arabic language to benefit all segments of society.

Al Muaini explained that the number of live broadcasts on the programme’s social media accounts has reached 30 covering various topics, including psychological care for senior citizens, psychological care for children, psychological support for working mothers, and how to address anxiety and psychological concerns. According to scientific studies, fear and anxiety are among the strongest influences that weaken human immunity, and, therefore, it is necessary to learn about how to deal with them. The duration of each broadcast is one hour, attracting some 250,000 views each.

Closed virtual sessions for specific community groups Al Muaini explained that the second component of the campaign is the hosting of closed virtual sessions, entitled, “Let’s Talk Together,” which aim to provide psychosocial support to specific groups of society, to enable them to talk to each other in a safe environment to discuss the psychological challenges they are facing.

The programme has organised over eight closed psychological support sessions to maintain the privacy of participants, under the supervision of certified physicians and psychologists. Some 300 people have participated and some sessions were held for those under quarantine, including working mothers, school and university students, and doctors working in the first line of defence.

Some 300,000 people watched “Let’s Reassure Each Other” programme Al Muaini noted that the third component of the campaign, titled, “Let’s Reassure Each Other,” focusses on raising awareness of the importance of psychological resilience and promoting its importance to society. The programme has so far posted more than 21 video clips containing messages of support and reassurance to the community. The number of people who watched the programme reached some 300,000 viewers.

Al Muaini stressed that the campaign is an effective interactive platform available on a daily basis, to provide psychological support to all segments of society at a time when people require reassurance and psychological support to overcome the current crisis. The campaign hosted doctors working in the first line of defence and their inquiries were answered directly. A group of people under quarantine was also involved in the closed support sessions, which were also popular with participating doctors.