The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), UAE issued fresh guidelines towards screening of suspected patients as a reaction to the spike in Covid-19 infections beyond China.
Based on the latest guidelines six countries have been added to the travel history watch list. Earlier, only patients with a travel history to China who presented flu symptoms were tested for Covid-19.
Now patients with respiratory infection symptoms who have returned from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Singapore, and Italy in the last 28 days will also need to be placed in isolation.
As per the ministry those who should be placed in isolation are individuals who:
- Exhibit with upper or lower respiratory symptoms 'with or without fever'.
- Have returned from China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Singapore, and Italy in the last 28 days.
- Have come in contact with an individual or animal known or strongly suspected to have COVID-19.
- Have severe acute respiratory infections (SARI) - with no other lab result that explain the illness.
Among the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, so far UAE has recorded 13, Kuwait 11, Bahrain 23 and Oman 4 registered COVID-19 cases.
Most of the new infections occurring are among people returning from Iran - which has reported 95 coronavirus cases and 16 deaths - causing many countries to impose travel ban and suspension of flights to the country.
MOHAP and medical experts in UAE are reminding people to use hand sanitisers as the first measure of prevention.