Dubai - China coronavirus outbreak: UAE airports to screen passengers

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Aden - Yasmine El Tohamy - Advisory issued by airports in and Abu Dhabi for travelers.

UAE and several other GCC states have taken all precautionary measures to prevent the entry of Coronavirus.

While the UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia have begun thermally screening passengers arriving at the airport, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) has reaffirmed that the UAE is completely free of the mysterious virus emerging in China. Until today, more than 500 confirmed cases were reported globally with 17 dead.

Thermal screenings at airports

Dubai will screen passengers arriving on direct flights from China, the emirate's airport operator said on Thursday. Furthermore, Abu Dhabi International will also screen passengers arriving from China, the airport said on Thursday.

Airport authorities took to Twitter to announce "Abu Dhabi International Airport has started a screening process for passengers arriving from China in an effort to ensure the health and safety of all of our travellers".

UAE Embassy in China issues statement

The UAE Embassy in China took to social media to share an article on how the country is taking 'strictest measures' to contain the Coronavirus outbreak.

Taking to Twitter on Thursday, the embassy tweeted a comprehensive article by China Daily on what steps the government has taken so far to stop the mysterious virus from spreading after it was first detected in Wuhan in December of last year.

Furthermore, Kuwait called on its nationals in China on Thursday to be cautious as Coronavirus is spreading in a number of China's cities and districts. Kuwaiti citizens residing in Guangzhou and nearby cities should take all the needed precautions, Kuwait's Consul-General in Guangzhou said in a statement on Thursday.

The precautionary procedures include wearing a medical mask, not attending crowded places as well as following up on instructions by the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China, it affirmed. The consulate has provided a hotline to receive urgent calls and inquiries for Kuwaiti citizens (02038078070).

Mohap confirms no cases in UAE

The National Committee for International Health Regulations and the Control of Pandemics stated that the UAE has an effective integrated system and plans for emergency and crisis to address public health risks and that the country is in constant touch with the World Health Organization (WHO) to find out the latest updates, recommendations and procedures taken in this matter.

The committee made this announcement during Wednesday's meeting chaired by the ministry in the presence of strategic partners including the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority, the General Authority of Ports, Borders and Free Zones Security, UAE Airports and other bodies.

"The measures taken by the UAE in such cases are enough to protect the country against Coronavirus. Therefore, the committee would like to reassure the public that the detected cases all around the world are still limited in the spread, compared to other types of epidemics," it said in a statement, adding that the health situation poses no grounds for concern and that the ministry is closely following up on the situation to ensure the health and safety of everyone.

What is the treatment?

"Currently there is no specific treatment available for the disease, but supportive therapy and prophylactic treatment may be initiated to prevent complications from respiratory distress," said Dr Salvin George - Specialist Physician (Internal Medicine), Medcare Hospital Al Safa.

He added, "Consult your nearest hospital where they will assess your vital signs and determine the severity of the illness. You may be isolated if there is a strong suspicion of the coronavirus infection. Blood and body fluid samples will be obtained for testing."

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Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person, and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics, and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling, and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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