Majority of Covid-19 cases in the UAE do not exhibit symptoms, a top health official has said. But some may have a slight fever, cough or sore throat, while others could temporarily lose their sense of smell and taste.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, official spokesperson of the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap), during a virtual Press briefing on Wednesday, explained the various stages of infection. "The first stage is the incubation period, when the virus enters the cells of certain parts of the body, such as the throat, trachea and lungs. This is the period between infection and the onset of symptoms. During this period, a person does not feel sick and may not develop any symptoms at all. The incubation period varies from person to person but ranges from one to 14 days, with an average of five days."

Following this stage, a minor illness could develop, which may be accompanied by the aforementioned symptoms that can be treated by bedrest and a high liquid intake. The patient does not need hospital care at this time, she added.

Dr. Al Hosani said that a small percentage of people develop severe symptoms, including inflammation of the lungs, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties, adding that during this stage, some patients require medical intervention on a ventilator, especially those suffering from chronic diseases or those who are smokers or elderly, with a few developing other complications.

She also affirmed that while many infected people may not show any symptoms and their condition will not require hospitalization, they can spread the infection to others.

"Therefore, we constantly stress the necessity of following all preventative measures, as well as the importance of self-quarantine and wearing face masks. Although restrictions have been relaxed and we can go outside if necessary, this does not mean that we can be negligent because prevention is mandatory for every individual to protect themselves and those around them. With awareness and a commitment to responsibly following instructions, we can all succeed," she added.

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