Rising Covid cases in UAE: Doctors advise residents to mask up, do PCR test if showing symptoms

Testing centres across the country witness surge in numbers



File photo
File photo
by

Nandini Sircar

Published: Wed 15 Jun 2022, 9:39 PM

PCR testing centres across the UAE are witnessing an increase in the number of residents queuing up to get tested.

The UAE health ministry recently announced that daily Covid-19 cases have more than doubled in a week, with authorities noting an increase in hospitalisation rates of infected people.

Authorities also reduced the validity of the Green Pass on the AlHosn from 30 days to 14. This means fully vaccinated residents will get a 14-day Green Pass after receiving a negative Covid-19 PCR test result.

Doctors are attributing the rise in cases due to everyone’s casual attitude towards Covid-19 protocols and are emphasising the importance of following the mask rule and getting tested if they display Covid symptoms.

Dr Abner Abejo, Specialist Internal Medicine, Al Zahra Hospital Dubai said, “Since it’s transmitted very rapidly, and the symptoms are similar to flu or any other viral infection, testing for Covid is very important not only from a medical standpoint but also in public safety with the goal of reducing the spread of infection and prevent deaths.”

As per current guidelines, a minimum of 10 days of home isolation is still recommended if one tests positive.

Dr Baiju Faizal, Specialist Internal Medicine, at Lifecare Hospital Musaffah said, “Testing plays a crucial role in the efforts to contain and mitigate Covid-19 by identifying infected individuals who are symptomatic or asymptomatic to help prevent further virus transmission. The test results can help a doctor make informed decisions about a patient’s care and promptly identify people needing care. Testing is also an important tool that allows us to monitor the spread of the infection.”

Importance of testing

"There has been a sharp increase in Covid-19 cases in the UAE. As per the latest reports, the rate of hospitalisations has also increased. With infections spreading, adhering to safety measures is critical in defending against the virus," said Dr Prasanth Kinattupurayil, Specialist Internal Medicine, Aster Clinic, Bur Dubai.

"Testing for Covid-19 is crucial. It is the only way to identify the spread of infection. The fact that all the residents in the UAE are vaccinated gives us some relief. Most of the reported cases experience mild symptoms.

"But we must see that it is not limiting the spread of the infection. People with Covid symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, sore throat, and body ache, should consult a doctor and get a Covid test done.

"Testing is the only way by which we can rule out the possibility of Covid infection. If positive, one must ensure that they isolate themselves for the next 10 days and do not spread it to others.

"So, testing is crucial in our line of defence against the virus and we must not stay away from it. Remember that healthy people might experience mild symptoms. But if we pass it on to children, elderly people or pregnant women, there are chances that they might develop severe symptoms. So it is our social and moral responsibility to get tested, if we are experiencing any symptoms. It not only saves us but will also ensure the safety of our dear and near ones.

Charges at testing centres, home testing facilities

  • SEHA drive-through centres at Al Khawaneej and Dubai Parks and Resorts – Dh40
  • NMC Royal Hospital, Dubai Investment Park (DIP) – Dh85 (for travellers who produce a valid ticket). Regular price is Dh120
  • Aster Hospital, Cedars, Jebel Ali – Dh60; Aster Hospital, Mankhool – Dh99; Aster Hospital, Qusais – Dh99; Aster Hospital, Sonapur – Dh50. Aster Clinic (AJMC) – Dh99; Access Clinic (Rolla and Muweilah) – Dh59
  • Right Health PCR testing centre at Al Quoz Mall – Dh90
  • If residents are looking to skip the queue, they can book a PCR test service on an app and get the test done at home
  • Rizek mobile application – Dh99 (for a home test); Urban Company – Dh84 (with results in 24 hours)

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