Dubai: Two UAE primary healthcare providers have come forward to collaborate and screen blue collar workers to lend a helping hand to the government in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right Health and Al Futtaim Health Hub, who have teamed up to screen over 50,000 workers, will cover all major labour camps across the country.
Dr Haider Al Yousuf, Managing Director of Al-Futtaim Health said: “We are glad to join hands with Right Health to roll out this initiative aimed at covering the blue-collar workforce in the UAE. This partnership will focus on the early identification of infection, isolation and contact tracing to flatten the curve and reduce the rate of infection."
Dr. Haider added: “This initiative will support the nation’s strategy to slow down the spread of Covid-19 at a greater level.”
Jayan Krishna Pillai, CEO of Right Health, said: “This screening and testing is very important as nearly 70 per cent of the UAE expatriate population resides in these labour clusters where there are nearly eight-10 people in a room."
Talking about the massive operation launched on April 7 across labour camps, Jayan Krishna Pillai said: "The chances of spread are higher as social distancing is not practised. Of our 58 facilities across UAE - in Dubai, Al Ain, Shajah and Abu Dhabi, nearly 33 primary health centres are situated in labour camps in Jebel Ali, Sonapur amd Al Qouz and we have a clinic in Karama too. When many construction companies with labour camps who feared for the health of their 1000 strong work forces and also loss of productivity began requesting us to do the screening and subsequent tests, we decided to join hands with Al Futtaim Health. Al Futtaim Health has advanced testing technology and also the COVID-19 test permission. With our doctors, nurses and technicians, we will make a joint effort in combating the spread of this pandemic.“
Currently the corporate companies to which the work force belongs are meeting the cost of the test which is priced at Dh370 per person. So far there is no clarity on insurance companies pitching in.
In the last one month, both Right Health and Health Hub medical team have been conducting a mass screening campaign. These sessions will include health screenings, awareness sessions, and education seminars providing tips on how to stay safe including advice on effective social distancing and hygiene standards. Any suspected case is given an onsite COVID-19 test. Should the samples prove positive, they will be referred to the government facilities concerned for treatment,” added Krishna Pillai
10,000 workers screened
The team has screened over 10,000 blue collar workers. Screening includes recording temperatures, asking relevant questions regarding travel history and contact with COVID-19 patients.
Krishnapillai added, “Only suspected COVID-19 patients are asked to undergo the test which is about one per cent of those screened. In the last four days, we have conducted over 500 nasal swabs. If the test results come positive, we inform the organisation of the employee and the relevant health authorities to take relevant action on isolation admission at hospital and quarantining of the list of contacts the patient may have come close to in the past few days.”