Many hospitals in Dubai declared COVID-free


Dubai: As the rate of recovery doubles and incidence of COVID-19 infections reduce, several hospitals in the UAE have been declared COVID-free.

In Dubai at least a dozen hospitals are now COViD- free.

Of the 50,141 cases, 39,153 have recovered which amounts to a recovery rate of 78 per cent. The death toll has remained low at 318.

This has helped the government move towards opening up all sectors and limiting COVID-19 treatment to select health care centres, while reopening others as COVID-free health centres.

The procedure to declare them COVID free involves discharging the last of moderate to critical patients in their Intensive Care Units conducting thorough santisation and being subject to stringent inspection by Dubai Health Authority (DHA). Once satisfied, the DHA issues the COVID–free certification.

Hospitality industry sources said that most hotels that were booked for asymptomatic and mild patients in quarantine, were now thoroughly cleaned, sanitised and ready to receive tourists and visitors.

Community transmission of COVID-19 has slackened

Discharging the last of the five patients in its COVID ward on June 27 an being declared COVID free on July 1, Dr Adil Mohammad Yasin Al Sisi, Chief Medical of Prime Hospital, said, “From over 250 patients admitted to our hospital in the peak of the pandemic from Mid-March to April 1, we are happy to have zero admissions now. Even the hotel we took up for asymptomatic and mild patients was given up as numbers fell. I think the DHA medicine protocol, the education and awareness programme of the community and the national sterilisation programme all had a part to play in the slowing down of community transmission.”

Of the seven Mediclinic Hospitals six have been declared COVID free and only one of their branches now admits a declining number of COVID patients.

Dr. Tarek Fathey, Chief Operating Officer, Mediclinic Middle East told Gulf News, “Except for one, six of our hospitals spread over Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Al Ain have been certified COVID–free by DHA. We have had deep cleaning, sanitsation and thorough infection control protocols in place. These were carried out before the outpatient departments opened full-fledged and elective surgeries resumed. This has been made possible only because of the stringent health protocols in place. This is proof that the UAE has established itselt as a successful model of containment and management of the pandemic very effectively.”

Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO and Specialist Anaesthetist, of Aster Hospitals, UAE, told Gulf News that their hospital in Mankhool was COVID free and the branch in Qusais was in the process. Describing the journey from March, Dr Bichu said, “During peak time we were receiving 100 to 150 cases a day in OPD and had 80 to 85 in-patients. There were times where we did not have beds to accommodate patients, both moderate and critically ill. Now the number of stable patients reporting to outpatient clinics have drastically come down and we still have 50 plus in-patients in our different hospitals.”

The Aster group also had taken up two hotel quarantine facilities, managing 1,300 patients of different nationalities for over two months. Now the hotels have been emptied out and handed back. But the fight is not over yet and Dr Bichu recounted the efforts the group was making to help the government. “In view of supporting Dubai Government in fighting COVID, Aster has commissioned a new 50-bed hospital in Sonapur, exclusively for COVID patients.

All Medcare facilities COVID-free

Dr Andre Daoud, CEO – Medcare Hospitals and Medical Centres told Gulf News that all their hospitals and medical centres were now declared COVID–free.

“This means that all our facilities are now ‘clean’ allowing for a safe continuity of medical care for all patients who have not been affected by coronavirus.

“We have resumed our inpatient and outpatient activities in a COVID free environment so that we can continue providing quality care to more than 1.2 million patients we treat every year across our hospitals and medical centres.

“Medcare catered for more than 2,500 COVID 19 patients out of which 85 per cent were asymptomatic and mild, 10–12 per cent were moderate and severe, and 3-5 per cent were critical ICU cases,” he added. “We had taken over two hotels in Dubai which were considered as an extension to its hospitals, admitting COVID patients for as long as it was needed to obtain two negative viral test reports.”

Dr Daoud said maintaining the COVID free status required staff to be extra vigilant. We have put in extra safety measures across our facilities. Outpatients who might be identified with the virus will be immediately triaged, isolated and transferred to other facilities.

In the capital, the Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Healthpoint and Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC) announced the resumption of regular services on June 23 which include outpatient consultations and elective surgeries.

In the meantime patients who test positive for COVID-19 if asymptomatic or mild can either qurantine at home or at government designate isolation centres. For moderate to severe to critical patients there are many designated hospitals equipped with intesntive care units and ventilator handling COVID cases. Residents need to dowload the ALHOSN UAE app for test results and guidance in case they need hospital admission.

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