Eid Al Adha break: Health authorities warn against Covid-19 complacency

Official urges public to look out for symptoms, wear masks, wash hands frequently



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 8 Jul 2022, 12:59 PM

Last updated: Fri 8 Jul 2022, 10:46 PM

With community members in a celebratory mood during the four-day-long Eid Al Adha break, health authorities in Abu Dhabi have urged strict adherence to Covid-19 guidelines.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, Executive Director of the Infectious Disease Sector at Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, stressed that people must not become complacent and follow all the precautionary measures.

“What seems like basic measures, some of which now come naturally to us like wearing our masks while in public or crowded places, covering our mouth with our elbows while coughing or sneezing, washing our hands frequently are actually effective precautions that got us through the hardest phase of the pandemic. We must not become complacent and should always make sure we are following all the necessary steps to keep ourselves and those around us safe,” Dr Al Hosani told Khaleej Times.

She pointed out that eligible citizens and residents can receive a booster dose of Sinopharm or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

“Vaccination is the key to protect yourself and your loved ones from Covid-19. Getting vaccinated is the best way to slow the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. I recommend that everyone who is eligible to stay up to date on their Covid-19 vaccines.”

Why PCR testing is important

The number of Covid-19 new infections has tripled from an average of 550 cases in the first week of June to 1,750 in the first week of July.

Amid the rising number of new cases, Dr Al Hosani stressed that those experiencing any Covid-19 symptoms or were in contact with a positive person must take a PCR test.

“The common symptoms to look out for include, but are not limited to, fever, cough, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, chest congestion and diarrhoea. Anyone experiencing these symptoms or has been in contact with a positive case must get tested at the nearest Covid-19 testing centre.”

Dr Al Hosani noted that people must not assume such symptoms are the flu and should do a Covid-19 screening.

“Compared to the flu, Covid-19 can cause severe and prolonged symptoms in some people. In some cases, people take longer to show symptoms, while also remaining contagious for longer periods of time before people show symptoms. I understand it is difficult to tell the difference between the flu and Covid-19 by monitoring symptoms alone, and that is why regular testing is important, especially for those experiencing symptoms.”

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Dr Al Hosani added that during the ongoing holidays and once offices resume work, community members must be mindful of any warning signs of Covid-19 and inform their employers.

“If you are feeling unwell or experiencing any of the usual symptoms, inform your team, request to work from home and get tested before returning to the office. While at the office or any public place, always make sure you are wearing a well-fitted mask. If you begin feeling unwell while at the office, let your manager know and excuse yourself to leave the office and get tested. It’s important to make sure you keep those at the office updated on your test results, especially if you were in proximity with your co-workers.”

After the Eid holidays, work will resume in the government and private sector on Tuesday.


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