COVID-19: Foreign travel returnees praise Abu Dhabi quarantine facilities, strict precautions

©Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi residents and visitors to the emirate have commended the safe, well-equipped institutional quarantine facilities, as well as the procedures that are currently being followed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

According to the latest guidelines, all people returning to Abu Dhabi from international travel must stay under quarantine for a total of 14 days. They are also required to undergo COVID-19 screenings at the entry points in Abu Dhabi.

“My wife and I returned to Abu Dhabi on September 10, and presented our COVID-19 negative test results. After undergoing another PCR [polymerase chain reaction] test, we were escorted to these quarantine facilities here in Musaffah,” Mohammad Kamaluzzaman, a 65-year-old Bangladeshi investor, told Gulf News.

“We’ve been here for nine days, and all our needs have been met. We have a comfortable room, get three meals a day, and are provided laundry services. These procedures are truly exemplary as a means to control the COVID-19 spread,” he added.

Another resident detailed how her mother, who had travelled to the UAE from India, had also been taken to an institutional quarantine facility. She had landed in Dubai and upon reaching the Abu Dhabi-Dubai border, she was taken to a quarantine facility.

“My mother had her own room, which she said was very clean and neat, and provided with an en suite bathroom, bed, cupboard and sofa. She also had WiFI access. And when she mentioned her dietary requirements, the facility ensured that those were taken care of,” she said.

The 14-day quarantine is mandatory for all international passengers, including those who land in another emirate. In such a case, people who spend few days outside Abu Dhabi need to complete the remainder of their 14-day quarantine in Abu Dhabi.

Quarantine location

The location of quarantine is determined by the relevant health authorities.

“Since we stay with our son, we were asked if we share any room or bathroom with him at home. Since we do, we were asked to stay at an institutional quarantine facility for his protection, and this indicates the high level of precautionary measures being implemented at the moment,” Kamaluzzaman said.

“Our son has also been able to drop off whatever necessities we were missing, so our stay has been very comfortable,” he added.

People who are deemed eligible to quarantine at home are provided with a tracking wristband for the duration of their quarantine, and the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre also affixes a notice at the entrance of the residential unit to indicate that occupants are under quarantine.

People are also screened for COVID-19 on the 12th day after arrival.

Preventing COVID-19 spread

The emirate’s health-care regulator, the Department of Health (DoH), announced on Saturday that more than 150,000 people with COVID-19 have so far been placed under quarantine or are in home isolation in Abu Dhabi as a measure to limit the COVID-19 outbreak.

“Isolation is the separation of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 individuals from others to avoid contagion. Quarantine is separating and restricting the activities of healthy people for a period of time, as determined by the concerned health authorities,” the DoH said on its social media channels.

“These are common health practices that contribute to preventing the spread of infectious diseases. Isolation and quarantine are imposed on infected individuals or those who have had contact with an infected person, by separating them from healthy people in order to prevent the spread of the disease,” it added.

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