The new coronavirus was first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan.


Got symptoms? How UAE doctors will treat you


DUBAI – With the first case of coronavirus in the UAE confirmed on Wednesday (January 29), the Ministry of Health and Prevention sought to allay fears by saying that the “general health condition is not a cause for concern”.

The ministry said that it has put under medical observation a family who arrived from the Chinese city of Wuhan who tested positive for novel coronavirus. The family is in stable condition, the ministry said.

The ministry also said that hospitals in the UAE are equipped to deal with coronavirus cases. The ministry urged residents not to panic about the potential spread of coronavirus in the UAE, saying that the “health system in the UAE works very efficiently and that the ministry is closely following the situation.”

What are the symptoms?

The novel coronavirus or 2019-nCoV is a new respiratory virus first identified in the Chinese city of Wuhan. The virus is thought to have emerged from illegally traded wildlife at a seafood market in Wuhan.

The new coronavirus causes severe acute respiratory infection. There is currently no specific cure or vaccine. The virus can spread between people and Chinese authorities said the virus was like a normal flu and is able to spread before any symptoms appeared, and during its incubation period between three and seven days and up to two weeks.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • General feeling of being unwell

What if you have these symptoms?

If you have these symptoms in the UAE, visit a healthcare professional or your nearest hospital. Doctors and hospitals in the UAE have been advised to follow a protocol for treating patients exhibiting symptoms of a flu or the virus.

How will UAE doctors diagnose you?

Doctors at Aster Hospital and NMC Hospital in Dubai said that patients who come in with symptoms will be assessed for the virus.

1. Assessment of patient. Doctors will check the patient for the following:

Coughing or difficulty breathing – Are they experiencing coughing or difficulty in breathing, with or without a fever?

Recent travel history – Have they travelled to a country where coronavirus was diagnosed in the past 14 days?

Exposure to someone with flu or virus – Were they exposed or were in close contact with someone who has flu, was unwell or under investigation for the virus?

2. Quarantine 

Patients exhibiting symptoms or risk factors will be isolated in a negative pressure room where air cannot escape.

3. Ministry of Health notification

The Ministry of Health will be immediately notified about the infected patient.

4. Throat and nose swab

Patients will be attended by medical staff wearing protective clothing. Doctors will then conduct a throat swab and nose swab on the patient using a medical kit provided by the Dubai Health Authority.

5. Samples sent for further testing

The samples are then sent to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City Microbiology Laboratory for further testing for coronavirus.


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