Abu Dhabi: The UAE has announced the establishment of a preventative health centre within the Emirates Humanitarian City complex, to provide 24-hour health care for Arab students and residents evacuated from Wuhan, China - the epicentre of the coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak.
Joint humanitarian efforts saw the completion of the project within 48 hours since the UAE's announcement of evacuating students from neighbouring countries from the city of Wuhan on Wednesday. Run by qualified and trained medical teams, the centre is equipped with the necessary medical equipment and supplies to provide care and handle COVID-19, including airborne infection isolation rooms.
The announcement follows the directives issued by President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Dr. Musleh Al Ahbabi, an official responsible for infectious diseases and public health care programmes in the country, confirmed to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, the centre's readiness to monitor and carry out preventive care to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections disease according to World Health Organisation standards and practices.
Al Ahbabi explained that airborne infection isolation rooms, commonly called negative pressure rooms, are single-occupancy patient care spaces designed to isolate airborne pathogens to a safe containment area. Individuals who may be suspected of carrying the new coronavirus will be placed within these rooms for a period of 14 days - the average incubation period of COVID-19 - where they will be monitored and tested for infection, he noted.
The disease prevention official advised to practice basic protective measures such as the frequent washing of hands; when coughing and sneezing to cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue and discarding of the tissue immediately; and to seek early medical care if symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty in breathing arise.
Al Ahbabi stressed the importance of receiving viable and correct information from government health agencies, and to avoid the circulation of false information about diseases, in general.