Coronavirus: Dubai compiles record of every family to visit outbreak zone

Schools distributed forms on Thursday asking parents to declare their travel history

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Families have been asked to declare their travel history to help tackle the spread of coronavirus.

Dubai Health Authority sent a form to parents via schools on Thursday in an effort to build a picture of potential risks.

It asked parents if their children or close relatives have travelled to countries with high infection rates including China, South Korea and Iran in the past 28 days.

"As per the current prevention and control policy of COVID-19 (New Coronavirus), Dubai Health Authority requires you to provide information regarding your history of travel in the last 28 days, please report and update regularly in case of travel," the form read.

Parents were asked if their child or relative returned with fever or flu symptoms or if they had any contact with someone confirmed to have the virus.

Gavin Walford-Wright, chief people, marketing and admissions officer at Taaleem school group, confirmed that it received the “travel history declaration form”.

“It specifically talks about travel history within the last 28 days to China, Hong Kong, South Korea, Iran, Japan, Singapore or Italy,” he said.

“The form is only required to be completed if the student or a close relative has visited any of the above mentioned countries within the last 28 days.”

Taleem manages 10 schools across the UAE.

“To ensure the well-being of our students, parents and staff we have stepped up infection control measures, such as enhanced cleaning and hand sanitising,” he said.

“Our qualified and experienced nurses have also completed checks around the schools, bringing international healthcare best practice to the classroom.”

A number of other schools in the city have also stepped up awareness efforts to help prevent the spread of the virus among children and families.

The Gulf Model School in Dubai held some health hygiene sessions to sensitise pupils on the impact of new coronavirus.

During morning assemblies, the school leadership outlined measures that pupils could take to reduce the risk of infection including the promotion of better hand washing techniques.

Earlier this month, the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention confirmed the first case of COVID-19 in the country.

To date, there remain 13 confirmed cases of people with the infection across the Emirates.

In other developments on Thursday, Saudi Arabia introduced a temporary ban on religious visits to the country.

It also suspended entry for tourists from almost two dozen countries with confirmed outbreaks of coronavirus including China, Italy, Hong Kong, Singapore and India.