Coronavirus: New procedure for Covid-19 patients in Abu Dhabi

People who require a tracker watch after travelling or contact with a carrier now report to a special centre

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New rules are in place for people in Abu Dhabi who have contracted the coronavirus, have come into contact with a patient who has it or has travelled to the emirate from abroad.

Previously, people were told to report to the Covid-19 Prime Assessment Centre at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, where they would take a PCR test and be fitted with a tracking wristband.

Patients with strong symptoms would also have a medical check-up.

During quarantine, people would be tested again at Adnec and, if the result was negative, the tracker would be removed.

Adnec was split into separate halls to keep people from coming into contact with positive cases.

Now, with Adnec preparing to host the Idex defence exhibition in three weeks, procedures are being split between two centres: the old Mafraq Hospital building and Abu Dhabi's cruise terminal at Zayed Ports. Both are managed by Seha, Abu Dhabi's public healthcare provider.

But how does the new system work and where does each category need to report to? The National explains.

Where do I go if I have coronavirus?

If you have tested positive for coronavirus, you will receive a text message from Seha telling you to report to Mafraq Hospital, near Baniyas, on the outskirts of the capital.

On arrival, patients are registered to Salamtak, an online health portal, and will have a medical check-up.

High-risk patients, such as the elderly, anyone with a chronic disease or people with severe symptoms, will take additional tests.

These include heart monitoring, blood tests, and X-ray, and CT scan followed by consultation with a doctor to determine if they need hospital care.

People with mild or no symptoms will be fitted with an electronic tracker watch and must quarantine for 10 days either at home or in a facility depending on their living arrangements.

Those without symptoms will undergo a PCR test to confirm their infection status before being sent home to quarantine until the result arrives.

If it is positive, they must return to Mafraq to be fitted with a tracker watch and will either isolate at home or in a facility for at least 10 days.

Seha will contact patients every few days to check on their symptoms and ensure they have access to food.

People quarantining at home can expect a medic to visit them for testing before their tracker watch can be removed. Health officials said coronavirus patients are no longer contagious after up to 14 days from when they developed symptoms.

What if I have been exposed to a Covid-19 patient?

People who have come into contact with someone who has the coronavirus will also receive a text message from Seha.

This will tell them to visit the Seha centre in Zayed Ports, where they will undergo a PCR test and be fitted with a tracking watch.

They must then quarantine at home for 10 days. On day eight of quarantine, they must return to Zayed Ports for another PCR test. If this is negative, the tracker watch will be removed.

If the individual is exposed a second time during their home quarantine – such as if a family member in the same house contracts the virus from the first patient – their quarantine period will be extended.

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, June 4, 2020.   
  An electronic wristband is installed on a patient at the new Covid-19 Prime Assessment Center at ADNEC.
Victor Besa  / The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  Shireena Al Nowais
Electronic wristbands are given to arriving passengers and anyone who must isolate due to contact. Victor Besa / The National 

What is the procedure if I have just come back from abroad?

Travellers who have flown into Abu Dhabi will be told to report at the centre in Zayed Ports.

There, they will be registered in the home quarantine programme and be fitted with a tracker watch.

They must report to Zayed Ports again for another PCR test on day eight of quarantine before the watch can be removed after the 10th day.

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