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Coronavirus Pandemic

25 clinic staffers in Dubai contract coronavirus during workers screening programme

Saman Haziq/Dubai
Filed on June 11, 2020
uae nurses, frontliners, covid-19, coronavirus


15 staff members honoured after fully recovering from Covid-19.

Around 25 staff members of a Dubai-based healthcare provider tested positive for Covid-19 - while working for the UAE's largest coronavirus screening campaign covering the labour communities. 

About 15 frontliners, including one doctor, four nurses and 10 staff members from the front desk and other departments, recently completely recovered from the disease and were honoured at a ceremony held at the organisation's headquarters in Dubai.

The chain of clinics ran a round-the-clock campaign - seven days a week - offering screening tests and identifying suspected cases to help UAE eliminate the virus from neighbourhoods.

The campaign continued for more than two months even during the lockdown restrictions period without a break.

Dr Mariamma Philip, one of the doctors who was honoured in the ceremony after recovering from the disease, said she was on her OPD duty as a general practitioner at Right Health Clinic in Jebel Ali, when she started experiencing Covid-19 symptoms.
"Dressed in full personal protective equipment (PPE), I was doing my normal consultations with suspected Covid patients in the OPD when I started experiencing severe body pain, weakness, headache and mild breathing difficulties. I finished my duty and on reaching home took medicine and rested. But the severity of these symptoms increased and I knew I had contracted Covid-19. A test the next day confirmed it.

"Although I took all precautions when I came back home from work, such as sterilising all my belongings and taking a shower, but my two children and husband also got infected and we home-quarantined as a family for over 15 days till we got our two negative tests."

Dr Mariamma was back to work on the eighteenth day since contracting the virus.

Nurse Jismy Unnikrishnan, who was treating patients with high temperature at the Right Health clinic, also contracted the virus but recovered in just 10 days. She was back to her regular duties at the clinic just 15 days after getting infected
Urging people not to panic, Jismy said:" I contracted the disease while treating patients running high fever but I did not panic because that would make my body more weak. The only thing that I was worried about was my five year old daughter and husband. I chose to isolate myself at home and it was hard to stay away from my daughter, but I managed to do so with my will power - so as to prevent others from getting infected.

"I stayed strong during this fight against Covid-19 and managed to come out negative in just 10 days. After repeated tests came negative on the thirteenth day, I resumed my duties at the clinic."  
All 15 workers, who recovered from the disease, were felicitated by the senior management and were awarded certificates of appreciation for their brave fight against the deadly virus.
Lauding the dedication of the clinics' staff, Jayan K, Right Health CEO said: "We are proud to honour our Covid-19 warriors, who put their life at risk during the campaign that covered labour communities in Dubai's different locations. Despite the inherent health risks involved, our frontliners did their job to the best of their abilities, even fighting the virus after getting infected. We salute their invaluable role to make the initiative successful and ensuring the safety of Dubai's blue-collar workers."

Elaborating on the screening process, Sumeet Ambegaokar, head of Covid-19 screening project at Right Health, said: "We conducted maximum screenings by reaching out to labour accommodations as these are considered places where the virus could spread rapidly. Our frontline staff also counselled the workers on the actual symptoms and created awareness with tips and recommendations to stay safe, clean and practice social distancing in their accommodations and working sites."

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