In a story issued by The National today, it was reported that those who test positive for Covid-19 in Abu Dhabi will now have to self-isolate in a healthcare facility; such as a field hospital or hotel. While self-isolating in one’s home was previously permitted, the change is in line with the Emirate’s strategy to further stem the spread of the virus. Speaking to The National, Dr Shada Al Ghazali of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, said “The Home Isolation Programme has been discontinued late in August. All Covid-19 cases are isolated in assigned isolation sites and, or hotels” Intended to take infection rates down to the absolute minimum, Dr. Al Ghazali explained, “This is in line with the Emirate’s strategy to control the spread of Covid-19.”
Currently, the capital’s field hospitals are well equipped to accommodate patients in need of isolation. With five hospitals in tow, the city has a total capacity of 1,200 beds. Conversely, private hospitals that have long since been cleared of Covid-19 cases will no longer be permitted to care for those with the virus. Unable to leave until they are cured, the state has decreed that those who test positive must enter quarantine immediately.
In a bid to continue eliminating the spread of the virus, the Abu Dhabi Media Office also shared today that schools in the capital will immediately shift any school with a suspected case to distance learning until a negative result is derived. According to the circular issued by the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis & Disasters Committee, the responsibility and onus of declaring suspected cases lies with teachers, staff, parents, and students. Changes to testing have also been announced with residents who intend to enter the emirate by road having to show both a negative PCR and DPI test. Entry into Abu Dhabi by plane is still not permitted for tourists, and those hoping to cross at a road border must quarantine in a hotel for 14 days, with a second PCR test, over and above the one taken prior to entry, being undertaken on day 12.