New directives from health authorities in UAE
New directives from health authorities in UAE Image Credit: Screenshot/ Instagram

Dubai: Social media is buzzing with information and questions regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The UAE health authorities are using Instagram as a tool to educate residents on the right measures to adopt to ensure the safety of the community.

While most people all around the world are #stayinghome to flatten the curve, there is a section of society that is still moving outdoors to carry out essential services.

The health authorities in the country have issued directives encouraging people to wear gloves, wear a mask at all times and to sanitise your hands when outside.

Take precautions when entering your home

However, what precautionary measures should one take before entering your house? In a recent Instagram post the Dubai Health Authority (@dha_dubai), answers this question.

According to their guideline, the first thing one should do when entering their house is not to touch anything. The individual should remove their shoes “preferably outside the house” and sanitise them. Belongings like bags, wallets and sunglasses should be left outside in a box to sanitise later.

According to available research, the COVID-19 virus can stick to surfaces and remain there for hours or a few days. As a result, sanitising just your hands and washing your face is not enough.

If coming back from outside, people should place their worn clothes in a laundry bag, have a shower and clean areas of the body most exposed. Finally, gloves should be used to sanitise other items carried, and disposed off after completing the task, to avoid the spread of germs.

Wearing facemasks

In the UAE, it is mandatory for residents to wear a facemask when heading outside to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

However, during the initial outbreak, there were several questions regarding the use of masks and whether people should wear the blue side, facing outwards or inwards. This created a stir on social media leaving many confused and misinformed.

Twitter user @Miss_magnolia20 posted: “You are confusing a lot of people. Some say the correct way to wear the facemask is coloured side out while others say its white side out. Well, which is it?”

The Department of Health of Abu Dhabi is tackling misinformation and rumours about coronavirus, and in a new Instagram post, addressed this issue with a graphic. The image showed two masks, one with the blue side facing outwards, and the other with the white.

According to some, “If you have the flu, the blue side should face out to avoid spreading the disease.”

According to the Abu Dhabi health authority, “The only way to wear the mask [-] the blue should always face out.” They added that there is “no scientific evidence” to prove the blue versus white theory.

Tweep @drpenking posted: “The only correct way to wear a face mask is with the coloured side facing out and the white side facing in. This is irrespective of whether you have the disease or not. The filter works perfectly either way. Why do people sit down and craft a lie just to mislead other people?”

And tweep @Sean_Auditore posted: “Don't know which side of a surgical mask is right? Don't listen to people who say that you can use both sides because there is only one correct way to wear it!”

The World Health Organisation (WHO) released a video on twitter in February, explaining that the best way to wear a mask and dispose of it. While wearing a mask, one should ensure it covers your nose, mouth and chin.

The Abu Dhabi health authority also shared a picture post explaining the different kinds of masks and how effective they are in reducing respiratory infections.