Coronavirus in UAE: Ministry of Health Issues New Screening Guidelines

Coronavirus in UAE: Ministry of Health Issues New Screening Guidelines

UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention has issued new guidelines for the screening of patients suspected to have been infected with the deadly coronavirus

There has been a surge in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the Middle East, particularly in Iran where 95 cases have been confirmed and the death toll has reached 16. Several other countries in the region have also reported cases, which originated in Iran. In the UAE, 13 cases of the deadly Wuhan coronavirus have been recorded so far, out of which three have recovered completely while two are reported to be in a critical condition. The Ministry of Healthy and Prevention in the UAE has issued new guidelines for screening in order to prevent further spread of the virus. Six countries, including China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Singapore and Italy, have been placed on the travel watch list. Passengers who have returned from these countries in the last 28 days will be placed in isolation and tested. Previously, only those travelling back from China and having flu-like symptoms were tested. 

Those who show signs of severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) also need be placed in immediate isolation. The symptoms include coughing, fever and breathing difficulties. Patients may also have some early symptoms such as sore threat, headache, body aches, diarrhoea and nausea.

A circular issued by the health ministry on the new guidelines read, "If an isolation room with airborne precautions are not available, the patient must be placed in an adequately ventilated single room with a separate bathroom.”

In an interview with Reuters, an official from the the UAE National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said the UAE is “well prepared and equipped for the worst case scenarios” as the virus spreads in the region. He said the country has the required facilities to quarantine patients and that relevant bodies have been asked to undertake “a complete surveillance of all people entering the country.”

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