Novel Coronavirus 2019

What is COVID-19?

Novel Coronavirus 2019 or Covid-19, is  a new respiratory virus that was first identified in Wuhan, city of Hubei, a province in China, during December 2019.

What is the source of the COVID-19 infection?

The source of the Novel Coronavirus has not been identified; however, most of the cases were epidemiologically linked to the seafood and animal market in Wuhan, China, as the initial spread happened amongst the shoppers who were present there. There are current studies taking place to determine the actual source of the disease.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19 infection?

Coronavirus 2019 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness, with symptoms including fever, difficulty breathing, coughing, headache and sore throat. These can develop pneumonia.

Is there any treatments for COVID-19 infection?

Currently there is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. The treatment depends on enhancing the immunity level of patients, treating the symptoms and easing complications.

How does the virus spread?

The virus can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are dispersed when a person with COVID-19 Through Coughing or sneezing or through touching an infected surface, then touching the eyes, nose and / or mouth.

What Should I do if I developed symptoms?

Please put on a mask, inform your supervisor who should coordinate with the company’s single point of contact (SPOC) to notify the Dubai Health Authority’s hotline 800342, start isolating yourself and most importantly do not panic.

How can I Protect myself from having the disease?

The best way to prevent infection is to avoid exposure to the virus. The recommended preventive actions include:

·        Staying home

·        Regularly and thoroughly washing the hands with soap and water for a minimum of 20 seconds or sanitizing them with an alcohol-based hand rub.

·        Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

·        Maintaining a minimum 2-meter distance with anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

·        Follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering the mouth and nose with the inside of the elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Then ensure immediate disposal of the used tissue.

·        Ensure proper use of personal protective equipment’s (i.e. masks and gloves)

·        Keep in general good health, in terms of good nutrition, exercise and adequate sleep.

·        Monitor yourself regularly for any symptoms or fever.

Be alert and follow updated advisory from government 

How long do symptoms take to present?

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1 to 14 days, and most commonly, the first symptoms start to appear around five days from the date of infection.

What is the difference between a "conirmed case", a "suspected case" and a "close contact"?

Confirmed Case: A person with a positive test result for COVID-19 infection that is reported by the laboratory, irrespective of clinical signs and symptoms.

Suspected Case: Patient who presents with upper or lower respiratory symptoms with or without fever AND satisfying any one of the following criteria:

·        International travel history during the 14 days prior to symptom onset; OR

·        Been in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within 14 days; OR

·        residing in a community setting where COVID-19 cases have been detected; OR

·        cases of Influenza-Like illness without history of travel or known possible exposure.

Close Contact: A person who is coming to close proximity of less than 2 meters for a period that is more than 15 minutes (working, studying, or a family member) with a confirmed case, starting from 2 days before the onset of symptoms in the confirmed case and throughout the duration of illness.

For asymptomatic cases, the count can start from the day of COVID-19 PCR test that is done for the confirmed case.

Who is eligible for COVID-19 PCR testing?

·        Hospitalized patients

·        Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms

·        Patients 60 years of age and older with symptoms

·        Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms

·        Those who were in contact with a positive case and are presenting with symptoms

·        Those who have returned from travel and are presenting with symptoms

·        If you do not fit into any of the category above but have developed symptoms, please inform your supervisor and seek medical attention.

What happens after testing?

·        Hospitalized patients

·        Patients in long-term care facilities with symptoms

·        Patients 60 years of age and older with symptoms

·        Patients with underlying conditions with symptoms

·        Those who were in contact with a positive case and are presenting with symptoms

·        Those who have returned from travel and are presenting with symptoms

·        If you do not fit into any of the category above but have developed symptoms, please inform your supervisor and seek medical attention.

What is the difference between quarantine and Isolation?

Health authorities apply isolation and quarantine to take care of infected people and those who were in contact with them to protect healthy people.

Isolation: is the separation of ill people who have an infectious disease from those who are healthy so they can start the treatment journey without infecting others.

Quarantine: is the restriction of movement of those who may have been exposed to an infectious disease but do not have a confirmed medical diagnosis to ensure they are not infected.

Healthcare providers along with the employer are responsible for choosing the best place for people who are subject to quarantine or isolation, as per the relevant guidelines.

People who have been quarantined or isolated for a period of time do not pose any health threat to others especially after confirming that they are infection-free.


Will I be penalized by my employer if I got the disease?

No you will not be, as it’s not your fault that you got infected. You should be paid in full during your isolation period.

By the end of your isolation period, you will receive a clearance certificate and you can resume work normally.

Will I be penalized if I did not follow the proper procedures of isolation and/or quarantine?

Yes, you would likely be penalized since your actions may jeopardize other people’s health and risk them contracting the disease, in accordance with the penalties stated in the Federal Law No. (14) of 2014 in the matter of combating communicable diseases.

What information sources are reliable?

We recommend that you refer to the official guidelines announced by the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, the Ministry of Health and Prevention, the COVID-19 Control and Command Center, the Dubai Health Authority, and the concerned government entities. Please avoid rumors or any information that is not from official sources.

For inquiries or assistance, you can contact:

·        Ministry of Health and Prevention 80011111

·        Estijaba Service by Abu Dhabi Health Department 8001717

·        Dubai Health Authority 800342

Is COVID-19 the same as the MERS-CoV or SARS viruses?

No. Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses. Some cause illness in people, while others circulate among animals, including camels, cats and bats. The recently emerged COVID-19 is not the same as the coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) or the coronavirus that causes Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which first emerged in 2003. There are ongoing investigations to learn more.

Can antibiotics cure COVID-19?

No it can’t, antibiotics fightbacteria and have no effect on viruses.

Can influenza vaccine prevent COVID-19?

No it can’t because they can only fight the virus that causes influenza, which is different from the COVID- 19 virus.

Can garlic protect us from COVID-19?

Garlic is healthy as it contains antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence that eating garlic can protect us against COVID-19. 

Can I Shop online?

Yes, you can. There is no scientific evidence until now, which proves that COVID-19 can be transmitted through products.

Am I at risk of being infected with COVID-19 if an infected person walks past me?

No, it can only be transmitted if you have direct contact with the person infected (less than two meters away) through constant contact, and through touching.

Is it safe to order food at restaurants?

Yes, but order food that is cooked well and make sure to eat it while it’s hot.

Why should we avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth before waashing our hands or sanitizing them?

While touching surfaces, your hands can collect a number of viruses, which then can be transferred to your eyes, nose and mouth when touching them and cause you to get COVID-19.

In the absence of a tissue, why should we use the inner part of our arms when coughing or sneezing?

The droplets that come out when coughing and sneezing contribute to the spread of viruses such as cold, flu,etc. and it is best to use the inner part of the arm if a tissue is not available because there is no contact between that part and the things we frequently touch or use.

Can the Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19 ) be transmitted through the air?

Studies to date suggest that COVID-19 is mainly transmitted through contact with respiratory droplets rather than through the air.

How can I protect myself from contracting the disease?

The best way to prevent infection is to follow the preventive guidelines and precautions, which currently include staying at home and maintaining a social distance of at least one to two meters

between you and people who are not members of your household.

Additional recommended preventive actions against this respiratory virus include the following:

 – Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.

 – Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth before washing your hands. – Avoid contact with sick people who show respiratory symptoms.

 – Make sure that you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your bent elbow when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.

I hope you enjoyed this short guide. If you have any more questions that didn’t get answered, you can contact us.


Let me know if you like this guide by leaving a comment below. If you want us to add or change anything, let us know. See you in the next article.

Source : DHA

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