News Coronavirus watch12 Mar 2020

UAE:DHA strengthens preventive measures against COVID-19

| 12 Mar 2020

According to the World Economic Forum, "Pandemics top national risk-management frameworks in many countries ... each outbreak of a potentially dangerous infection prompts authorities to ask a rational set of questions and dust off the menu of response options that can be implemented as needed in a phased manner.

“Reality, however, is generally more disruptive, as national governments and supranational agencies balance health security, economic and social imperatives on the back of imperfect and evolving intelligence. It’s a governance challenge that may result in long-term consequences for communities and businesses.”

Corporate risk managers in the UAE will be heartened that the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has further reinforced its preventive programme and is running campaigns to raise awareness about essential precautionary measures and practices required to combat the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of the residents of Dubai.

The measures include thorough screenings of passengers travelling into Dubai from across the world through its airports, ports and border checkpoints, especially from countries that have high infection rates of COVID-19. Specialised medical teams are conducting laboratory sampling and following up on suspected cases.

The DHA is requiring all travellers who return to the UAE from ‘countries of concern’ or from one of the top 10 countries reporting local transmission of COVID-19 will be subject to home isolation for 14 days.

The ‘countries of concern’ are China, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Singapore and France. The statement added that the list can quickly change depending on the situation.

DHA director of public health protection department Dr Badreya Al Harmi, said the authority has implemented an effective monitoring system for detecting individuals infected by coronavirus. The system, which adheres to international standards and protocols recognised by the WHO, facilitates identification of coronavirus cases with high precision and supports medical teams in tracking and following up on those who had contact with confirmed cases.

Dr Badreya stressed that all precautionary procedures implemented in this regard are being carried out in coordination and cooperation with concerned authorities, including the Ministry of Health and Prevention, as well as crisis and emergency committees.

She further said the authority has issued comprehensive guidelines for all government and private health facilities in Dubai and conducted training workshops for their staff.

The DHA has also issued an educational guide designed to raise awareness among all members of society with simple, clear and straightforward information about COVID-19. It has also issued a guide to help all institutions in Dubai disseminate accurate information about the virus and raise awareness on essential preventive measures. Furthermore, she said the authority has raised awareness about precautionary measures in schools and universities. It has also issued a clear and detailed guide on procedures for school bus sterilisation and cleaning and disinfection of public transport.

Dr Badreya urged members of the public to follow preventive steps and instructions issued by the DHA and other official health authorities in the UAE and avoid misinformation from unofficial sources.

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