Combating coronavirus: How to have a safe day out at your neighbourhood pool in Dubai
After more than two months of closure, swimming pools in residential buildings have started operating again.
With public and private pools now open in Dubai, residents were excited to take a dip, saying it was a much-needed relief from the summer heat.
After more than two months of closure, swimming pools in certain communities and residential buildings have started operating again, but with mandatory dos and don'ts, like accommodating only 50 per cent of the capacity at a time.
Some tenants on Tuesday received circulars from their community management teams, stating their pool facilities have already been deep-cleaned and all other safety measures are in place.
Russian resident Valeriya Svalova and her three-year-old son were among those who headed straight to their community's pool as soon as they received the advisory.
"The lifeguard was doing the temperature checks and the lounge chairs have also been placed at quite a distance from each other. So, clearly there are certain safety measures in place which is reassuring. Personally, I feel completely safe. I can be in the pool all day long," said Svalova.
Another resident who can't wait to hit the pool said this reopening is a pleasant change for children who are currently not going to schools and whose outdoor activities are limited.
Deepika Soman said: "I am planning to dive into the water this evening. It's getting warmer now. For me, it's okay and I have no apprehensions. Covid-19 cases are going down in the UAE and there have seen significant number of recovery cases as well.
"People just need to be more responsible and not come to the pool if they have a cold or a fever. Besides, we'll be carrying our own towels and swimming gears. I am not worried at all."
Some are cautious
Some other residents, however, think it's better to adopt a wait-and see approach.
Anirban Bhattacharya isn't confident of the level of caution that each person exercises.
He said: "I would feel much safer if my child uses one of the inflatable home pools or if somebody has a private swimming pool at home. But when you are in the water you cannot wear a mask.
"Inadvertently, some water is bound to enter your nose or mouth and it's a facility being used by several others. I'll be too bothered all the time and won't be able to relax."
German expat Leo Wagner feels no differently. "I love to swim. But I'd rather wait now and wouldn't want my children to be exposed to the common pool yet. Children are anyway prone to cough and cold and are in the high-risk category. I'd be a little more patient."
HOW TO STAY SAFE IN SWIMMING POOLS
>> Maintain social distancing in and out of the water - even in water follow the six-foot rule.
>> Everyone who is not in the water should wear a mask.
>> Avoid crowding outside the pool.
>> Be mindful of touching shared facilities like tables, lounge chairs, lockers. Wash your hands frequently
>> If you have flu, cough or any other symptoms, avoid swimming
>> Bring your own towels
>> Refrain from sharing swimming gear
>> After using your swimming equipment, place them under the sun for two to three hours, enough to kill most germs and viruses
>> Keep your swimming clothes clean before and after use
SOURCE: Inputs from Dr Jyoti Upadhyay, internal medicine specialist, Aster Hospital, Mankhool, and Dr. Rasha Alain, family medicine specialist , Medcare Medical Centre - Al Khawaneej
(As per the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, there is no evidence that Covid-19 can be spread to humans through the use of recreational waters. But the activity in and around the water can pose a health risk)
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