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Self-isolation must after PCR test, says DHA official

It is for the health, safety and security of everyone if anyone who goes for a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, do the responsible act of self-isolation while practising all precautionary measures until guaranteed that he is not stricken with the dreadful persisting mutated SARS-CoV2-causing Novel Coronavirus (COVID19).

The self-isolation is important as it is necessary or even mandatory since “this is crucial to protect your family and the community at large,” said Dubai Health Authority (DHA)-Health Promotion and Education head Dr. Hind Al Awadhi on Monday.

In case of a negative PCR test, the close contacts must still exercise the full 10-day necessary self-quarantine. They are not required to undergo the PCR test “unless they develop the symptoms.; however, they (may opt to.)”

Meanwhile, professional disinfection of the bedroom and bathroom of the COVID-19 patient “can only take place after the person has no fever for the last three consecutive days of the isolation period (without using any fever medication); and, after completing the duration of the isolation period which will be 10 days or longer depending on the individual’s case.”

Al Awadhi added: “The disinfection company must be informed that a COVID-19 patient used the space. Other family members should wait to use the space until disinfection is completed. Prior to the disinfection process, it is better if the COVID-19 patient disinfects all touch points and objects in the room that are commonly used.”

The obligatory self-isolation is a must, from the date of the PCR test. More so if exhibiting flu-like symptoms whereby close contacts are a no-no even with all household members, until the fever is gone “without (ingesting) any fever-reducing medicine for the last three consecutive days and other symptoms should have subsided.”

“Only then you can end your isolation in 10 days. If that is not the case, continue the isolation period,” said Al Awadhi.

She said the asymptomatics must exercise self-quarantine 10 days from the date of the PCR test.

Part of the continuing efforts of the government agency for people to become responsible health stewards, Al Awadhi as well shared guidelines on self-isolation and maintaining that peace of mind and mental well-being through the ongoing one-year-old pandemic. She underscored the spirit of connection and re-connection through all the available modern communication gadgets, reading positive-driven literature, light physical exercises, including the virtue of gratitude.

“If you have taken a PCR test due to any medical reason and not for travel purpose, you must take all precautions assuming that you have COVID-19 until proven otherwise with a negative PCR test,” she said.

While awaiting the release and receipt of the findings, the individual must confine himself in a bedroom unless he has to use the common bathroom – if no private bathroom is available – for which he should wear the protective face mask. Everyone must always wipe surfaces of common bathrooms with disinfectants, every after use.

Al Awadhi added: “That means other than visiting the centre (to obtain the PCR test results), you should not go to work or school or step outside your home.”

Those who test COVID-19 positive must ask the physician if home quarantine were possible: “Mild COVID-19 cases require treatment similar to that of a viral. It is also recommended to monitor your oximeter (blood oxygen level, SpO2) readings twice daily.”

Never hesitate dialling for medical consultation and the ambulance “if the patient experiences breathing difficulties.”

“During home-isolation, if the patient experiences breathing difficulties, it is important to seek immediate medical consultation and contact the ambulance.”

DISPOSABLE CUTLERY: Al Awadhi reminded about the provision of disposable plates, cups/glasses and cutlery to the COVID19 patient whose food supply must be deposited by his bedroom door as close contact should be avoided.

The patient is required to collect all his trash in a garbage bag which must be sealed with hand gloves: “A house member must wear a mask and gloves and must dispose the trash outside the house in the designated place immediately.”

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