By Gavin Gibbon
Dubai Health Authority said cold and flu does not automatically mean virus is present
Dubai Health Authority has revealed the process patients suspected of having the coronavirus must go through.
People have warned that suffering from cold or flu symptoms does not automatically mean someone is carrying from the virus.
In an interview with local media, Dr Abdulla Al Rasasi, head of the preventative medicine section at the Dubai Health Authority, said: “Patients should be suspected to have the infection only if they present upper or lower respiratory symptoms, with or without fever, and have travelled to one of the high-risk countries in the preceding 14 days; or have cared for or come into contact with an individual or animal known or strongly suspected to have Covid-19; or have severe acute respiratory infections with no other lab result that explains the illness.”
Since first discovered in Wuhan, China, at the end of 2019, the coronavirus has spread to 80 countries, with over 93,000 cases confirmed and over 3,200 deaths reported.
China has recorded the most cases to date (80,270), followed by South Korea (5,328), Italy (2,502) and Iran (2,336).
Dr Al Rasasi explained that, should a person match the coronavirus symptoms, they must be taken to the nearest hospital or clinic, preferably with a face mask on.
There, swabs are taken and the patient is kept in an isolation facility at the hospital until the results are known, which, according to Dr Al Rasasi, takes around 24 hours.
Where the tests come back positive, a special ambulance and healthcare officials are despatched to screen and test the patient’s family. Even if they don’t show symptoms, they are still required to remain in isolation for 14 days.
Coronavirus patients, meanwhile, stay at a quarantine facility, where their symptoms are treated.
"This is done until the person tests negative for Covid-19, which takes roughly 2-3 weeks," Dr Al Rasasi said.