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Protocols are in place at all Emergency departments to diagnose, segregate and handle COVID-19 patients Image Credit: For illustrative purpose only

Dubai: Even as several hospitals in Dubai have been declared COVID-19 free by Dubai Health Authority (DHA), residents can still walk into any hospital Emergency if they have coronavirus symptoms as protocols are in place to segregate and deal with positive cases, Gulf News can reveal.

A spokesperson for the COVID Command and Control Centre told Gulf News, “Patients need not worry visiting any hospital or clinic in Dubai because they all have received a circular with detailed guidelines on how to handle patients with COVID-19 symptoms in a way to ensure containing and controlling any transmission of the infection. All hospitals are following guidelines to segregate different patients so they can handle potential COVID-19 patients.”

The spokesperson said: “If a patient tests positive, he/she will be notified via text message or by email on the result. Then, depending on his medical condition and situation, the “patient agent” will inform him/her to go into home isolation, or institutional isolation or to the hospital if needed.”

All Dubai hospitals have been instructed to receive all patients in the Emergency Department. After test and confirmation, if required, they are sent to the nearest COVID hospital for treatment. As numbers for incidence of disease have fallen and rate of recovery has doubled, even the field hospitals have been closed down.

But as Dr Moaza Al Zaabi, CEO of the Adam Vitale Hospital in Garhoud Dubai, which was declared COVID-free on July 7, said: “Our last COVID patient was discharged this week and after inspection and sanitisation, our establishment was declared COVID-free by DHA. But our 24-hour Emergency will still take in suspected COVID-19 patients who walk in for help. Our Emergency medicine doctors are well-prepared with adequate personal protection equipment to handle patients. If found positive and requiring hospitalisation, the patients will be directed to the closest COVID treating hospital.”

Dr Adel Al Sisi, Chief Medical Officer of Prime Hospital, said: “Our hospital has been declared COVID-free.” But the hospital emergency will redirect positive patients to a COVID hospital.

Only a few hospitals are on the COVID list now.

Dr Sherbaz Bichu CEO and specialist anaesthetist at Aster Hospitals, UAE, said that while their hospitals in Mankhool and Al Qusais were COVID-free, their 50-bed hospital in Muhaisnah is a dedicated COVID-19 hospital. “Our hospital in Muhaisnah is a dedicated COVID-19 hospital and we are open to accept positive patients as directed by DHA.”

Dr Bichu said: “No one needs to panic or be scared. The health authorities have set out very clear protocols and have managed the situation very efficiently. People need to continue with the practise of wearing a mask, following social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene when they step out. It is not advisable to be casual about this or lower your guard. One must follow the set protocols and things will be taken care of.”

Your COVID-19 guide

For any COVID related enquiries, residents can follow these steps:

Download AlHOSN UAE app, register and schedule a test

Schedule a test at home from the many hospitals and services offering home tracer testing or go to the drive-in testing centres across the city. Until reports come, remain under home quarantine

Get the Estijaba service at the operation centre – Department of Health at 8001717 (Abu Dhabi) or the Ministry of Health and Prevention at 80011111 for the Northern Emirates or the Dubai Health Authority at 800342 for Dubai residents)

Walk into the Emergency Department of any hospital and be attended by the physicians who will do what it takes to diagnose, test and redirect you to a COVID hospital if necessary