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For illustrative purposes - travelers scanned as they arrive at an airport Image Credit: Reuters

Dubai: While health authorities across the world are asking travelers to postpone their travel plans unless necessary, it is important for those who travel to know the checks and measures in place as well as their responsibility, especially if they have recently traveled to places of widespread coronavirus transmission.

On Thursday, 5 March, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention asked all citizens and residents to avoid travelling due to COVID-19. The Ministry highlighted that if travel is necessary, preventive measures will be taken upon the traveler’s return to the UAE.

Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of Primary Healthcare at the DHA discussed the latest measures in the UAE.

She said, “DHA and all relevant health authorities in the UAE are working together and have in place screenings at the airport as well as after-travel precautions that people with recent history of travel to places of concern must follow. All these measures are aimed to control and slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Dubai airports have been carrying out strict measures such as non-intrusive thermal screening for all passengers that arrive at Dubai airports and passengers from countries with a high infection rate are screened twice.

What about school students and staff members?

For school students and all school staff, those coming back from Countries of Concern will be screened in the airport. Schools are shut until April 5.

What should I do if I get sick in the 14 days after I get back?

If you get sick with fever (37.5°C or higher) or have symptoms of any respiratory illness, you should:

• Seek medical care. Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.

• Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.

• Avoid contact with others.

Dr Taryam said, “We are working round-the-clock to protect community members and care for them. We urge the public to join us in our fight against COVID-19. Responsible behavior helps protect your loved ones and community members, it prevents the ongoing community spread of COVID-19.”

She also added that people should only rely on information from official sources and those who have any query can call the following numbers DHA call centre -800 342, Estijaba service at the operation center, Department of Health – 8001717 or Ministry of Health & Prevention – 80011111.