What is COVID-19?
COVID-19 is the infectious disease caused by the most recently discovered coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. People can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick. (Source – World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/)
What are the symptoms of COVID-19?
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
- Loss of senses of taste and/or smell
These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty in breathing. Older individuals, and those with underlying medical problems, such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.
If you suspect you may have COVID-19, please call one of the following numbers:
- Department of Health – Abu Dhabi Estijaba service on 800 1717
- Ministry of Health & Prevention on 800 11111
- Dubai Health Authority on 800 342
- Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre 800 4959
You will then be directed to an appropriate healthcare provider or to you nearest emergency department.
How can I protect myself?
You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by taking some simple precautions:
- Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Why? Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on your hands.
- Maintain at least 2 metre distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
Why? When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
Why? Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
- Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Why? Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
- Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call one of the numbers above in advance.
- Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent the spread of viruses and other infections. (Source – World Health Organization, https://www.who.int/)
Sources of reliable information can be found on these websites:
What is Healthpoint doing to help and protect patients from COVID-19?
Healthpoint’s protective measures include:
-Screening of all patients by a physician prior to their appointment
- Providing remote consultations, to reduce the risk of exposure to our patients
-A drive-thru screening point to allow rapid assessment and testing of patients with COVId-19 symptoms, while maintaining social distancing
- Thermal screening and nurse triage upon entry to the facility
- Increased sanitization and infection control measures.
- Appropriate use of protective equipment for our Caregivers.
Our call centre is booking remote consultations with Healthpoint physicians, who will be available to assist our patients seeking medical care via a telephonic consultation.
To minimize the risk to our patients, face to face consultations will be avoided except in urgent cases. Please contact our call centre for assistance at 800 203.
Other useful information
The COVID-19 pandemic is still evolving and we are learning new things about the disease every day. The UAE Government is working closely with the WHO to guide healthcare providers, and the public, in in order to keep us all safe.
There is a lot of misinformation on social media and online, so we suggest you consult only reputable websites or contacts such as the UAE government departments including the department of Health – Abu Dhabi, the Dubai Health Authority, the Ministry of Disease and Prevention for updates.
At Healthpoint we will be updating our pages to reflect the latest developments and changes in our procedures as they arise. Please ensure you telephone our helpline at 8004959 / 800203 before visiting the hospital for any reason. The health of the UAE population and our Caregivers is our priority.