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Dubai Health Authority announces new guidelines for reducing the quarantine period to 10 days for certain COVID-19 patients. Photo for illustrative purpose only Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) on Tuesday announced that the isolation period for certain COVID-19 patients and close contact cases has been reduced to 10 days from the initial 14-day period.

The shortened isolation period is applicable to COVID-19 patients who did not develop any symptoms since testing positive. The reduced isolation period also applies to patients with mild cases of COVID-19 who have fully recovered from their symptoms without the use of fever-reducing medications, according to a Dubai Media Office press release.

Close contact cases should also have 10-day quarantine

Individuals who have come in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case but did not develop any symptoms should also abide by the new quarantine period of 10 days, starting from the day they were exposed to the confirmed case.

Rule for moderate to severe and critical cases remains unchanged

As for patients who are hospitalised due to developing moderate, severe or critical COVID-19 symptoms, they can only be discharged when they have tested negative in a PCR test two consecutive times that are 24 hours (or more) apart. In this case, the patient should also be afebrile for more than three days without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, the patient should also have improved minimal respiratory symptoms and their pulmonary imaging must show significant improvements.

Self-isolate

According to DHA, this category of patients should self-isolate for seven days after they are discharged. If symptoms appear again during the two-week period after discharge, they should revisit the clinic for a follow up.

The DHA said that shortening the quarantine period is based on global research on COVID-19, which found that the majority of contact cases get infected within the first 10 days from last exposure.