The UAE will now offer free novel coronavirus tests to citizens and expatriates if their symptoms are aligned with the ‘surveillance definition’ or the clinical features of the deadly virus that has claimed 133 lives since its outbreak.
Hussein Abdel-Rahman Al Rand, the assistant undersecretary of Health Centers and Clinics Sector at the Ministry of Health and Prevention, told Khaleej Times that the tests are offered at all facilities run by the ministry and the various health regulatory authorities across the country, such as the Dubai Health Authority, Sharjah Health Authority or the Abu Dhabi Department of Health.
“However, the cases have to be aligned with the definition, or the clinical features, of the novel coronavirus. For example, the tests can be undertaken by a patient who has a recent travel history to China,” he said.
According to the DHA, the clinical features or definition of the disease are acute respiratory illness, fever with cough, shortness of breath, pneumonia, and someone who has a travel history to China 14 days prior to the symptom’s onset.
A four-member Chinese family infected with the new coronavirus are the first confirmed cases in the UAE, MoHAP revealed on Wednesday. Commenting on their condition, Al-Rand said, “They family members are in a stable condition, and there is nothing to worry.”
Al Rand also assured all UAE residents that there is no reason to panic. “I would request that all residents resume their daily routines as the conditions are safe in the UAE,” he added.