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Health News

UAE daily coronavirus cases surge to near peak level

FILE PHOTO: People wearing protective face masks walk at Dubai mall after the UAE government eased a curfew and allowed stores to open, following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Dubai, United Arab Emirates May 3, 2020. REUTERS/Rula Rouhana

DUBAI (Reuters) - The United Arab Emirates health ministry reported on Friday 931 new daily cases of the coronavirus following a recent surge in infections that are near the highest since the pandemic broke out.

Until last month, there had been a generally falling trend since the UAE’s new daily cases peaked at 994 in May, but numbers have surged from 164 cases on Aug. 3.

The Gulf Arab state has recorded 77,842 infections and 398 deaths from COVID-19. The government does not disclose where in the country of seven emirates the infections or deaths occurred. About 10 million people, mostly foreigners, live in the UAE.

A health ministry official on Thursday asked the public to adhere to social distancing and avoid gatherings and mixing with people known to have the virus, which she said accounted for about 88% of cases.

The UAE had earlier enforced strict measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, including locking down tourism hub Dubai for a month and months-long evening curfews nationwide.

Most business and public venues have now reopened with some restrictions, and people must wear a mask outside homes.

Dubai reopened to foreign visitors in July, although airports in the rest of the country remain closed to visitors.

Abu Dhabi, the UAE capital and the largest and richest emirate, has restricted movement into the area to those with a negative COVID-19 test.

Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Chris Reese

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