Dubai Health Authority: quarantine after 15-minute contact with Covid-19 case

Ten-day isolation after coming into contact with someone who has the coronavirus

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Anyone who is in contact for 15 minutes with someone who has Covid-19 must quarantine at home for 10 days, Dubai Health Authority said.

Whether or not the person has symptoms or has recorded a negative PCR test, they must isolate as a precaution to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

The latest advice from the authority offered guidance for anyone who has been within two metres of someone with coronavirus for 15 minutes or more.

“The quarantine period is set as 10 days because latest studies have found that this is the incubation period of the virus,” said Dr Hend Al Awadhi, the DHA's head of health promotion and education.

“Even if close contacts don’t have any symptoms they can still be infectious and infect others, which is why it is mandatory to complete the 10-day quarantine period.”

On completing quarantine, there is no need to undergo a PCR test if there are no symptoms, doctors said.

If symptoms appear during the quarantine period, close contacts must take a PCR test.

If that result is positive, they must follow home isolation or institutional isolation procedures. If it is negative, they must continue their quarantine period.

Do not meet people while under quarantine

Being in quarantine does not mean someone is infected with Covid-19, but it is still a mandatory precautionary measure to ensure the infection is not transmitted to others. Therefore, it is important to make sure that you do not meet others while quarantining.

Dr Al Awadhi encouraged people to abide by the measures to help to stop the spread of the virus and protect loved ones as well as the community.

People quarantining at home should not receive visitors.

Do not share items, rooms or toilets

Certain conditions for home quarantine are required to ensure the contact person is separated from other household members. They must not share items, rooms or toilets with anyone.

To quarantine at home, the following measures must be met:

1: Availability of a separate room with a private bathroom

2: The quarantining person should be in a stable health condition

3: Must have an active phone number

4: Availability of a first aid kit that includes a thermometer

5: Awareness and commitment to quarantine procedures related to personal care and waste management

If it is not possible to adhere to these measures, you may be placed in institutional quarantine.

What to do if sharing a household with high-risk people

The DHA guidebook outlines a number of groups that are considered high risk and should not be in the same household as a positive or close contact case.

These include anyone above the age of 60, people with chronic diseases or disabilities and people staying at long-term care centres.

Do not leave home – even to buy essentials

Close contacts should refrain from going out and meeting others when they are quarantining.

They should order essentials through home delivery or ask someone else to do the shopping for them. Once the items are delivered, they should sanitise them before use.

Wait until after quarantine to get the vaccine  

Dr Al Awadhi said close contacts should get vaccinated only after completing the quarantine period of 10 days, provided they have not developed any symptoms or fever during the last three days.

They should also postpone appointments and procedures until after quarantine, unless it is an emergency medical appointment.

For more details, read the authority's Close Contacts: Quarantine and Precautionary Guidelines.