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Covid-19: Abu Dhabi opens six new assessment centres for infected patients

Prime assessment centres provide individuals with quick and safe access to PCR testing, medical check-up and assistance from specialists



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 1:07 PM

Last updated: Sat 22 Jan 2022, 10:38 PM

Abu Dhabi-based VPS Healthcare has opened six Covid-19 Prime Assessment Centres for infected community members, Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) said.

With Omicron variant leading to a surge in Covid-19 cases, these specialised centres have come up outside the VPS hospitals in Abu Dhabi City, suburbs and Al Ain.

This is for the first time since the start of the pandemic that a private healthcare group in the country has been tasked with establishing dedicated assessment centres. VPS has designed a comprehensive plan to offer care to positive patients in specially designed dedicated tents outside the hospital premises.

Covid-19 positive individuals can walk in to the centre for registration on a first-come, first-serve-basis, where facilities include a round-the-clock fever clinic for consultation and risk assessment, screening facilities, X-ray service, blood sample collection, laboratory, etc. Centres have a combined capacity to serve 2,000 to 3,000 patients a day.

Dr Pankaj Chawla, director of operations, Special Projects, VPS Healthcare, said that a prime assessment centre provides an individual with quick and safe access to PCR testing, medical check-up and assistance from specialists.

“A dedicated team of experienced healthcare workers, paramedics, and support staff have been deployed in these centres to offer the best and most efficient services,” Dr Chawla told Khaleej Times.

According to ADPHC, if a person tests positive, a retest must be done at any health facility or Seha Drive-Thru Screening Centre, and continue isolation until the result comes. A person with medium to severe symptoms must head to one of the VPS prime assessment centres. A person who gets a second negative test, must take another test within 24 hours to ensure a third negative result.

Meanwhile, a second positive result means the person needs to isolate at home for 10 days or at designated facilities or visit one of the prime assessment centres set up outside these hospital premises: Burjeel Medical City in Mohamed Bin Zayed City; Medeor Hospital, Abu Dhabi City, LLH Hospital and Lifecare Hospital in Mussafah, Lifecare Hospital in Baniyas and Burjeel Royal Hospital in Al Ain.

Dr Chawla noted that centres have been set up with strict infection control protocols in place.

“These centres have been set up outside the hospital premises with separate entry and exit points. So, it doesn’t impact the operations of the hospitals or regular patient visits. Apart from ensuring safety protocols in setting up the centres, our team is functioning with all biosafety gears," Dr Chawla said.

"Healthcare workers and support staff are following all measures, including N95 masks, face shields, PPE and other safety gears. Also, they have been exclusively deployed for serving the centre and specific residences were provided.”

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ADPHC has noted that positive individuals who fall under high-risk categories must visit assessment centres at: Mafraq Hospital, Al Mushrif Wedding Hall, Madinat Mohamed Bin Zayed Center (Abu Dhabi), Al Ain Convention Center Gate 7 (Al Ain), and Al Dhafra Hospitals Prime Assessment Centres and Madinat Zayed City Center (Al Dhafra).

What happens at a prime assessment centre?

First, the Al Hosn app or SMS for infection is checked. In the fever clinic, the vital signs, including oxygen saturation, are measured. Then there will be a doctor’s consultation.

Based on the risk assessment, the patient will be guided to do certain diagnostics like laboratory tests and X-ray. Upon the assessment of these reports, the patients will be categorised as needing home isolation, field quarantine facility or hospital admission.

If the patient is identified for home isolation, a tracker watch is fitted on their wrist, medications are given. The patient is sent back home to complete 10-day isolation. A patient identified for a home quarantine, field quarantine or hospital admissions will be then referred to the respective facility using the Estijaba platform as per the directions of healthcare regulators.


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