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Covid-19: Dubai reduces quarantine period for some coronavirus cases

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All close contacts should undergo home quarantine for 10 days after last exposure, even if their PCR test has returned negative

Residents and visitors who have come in close contact with Covid-19 patients in Dubai must undergo 10 days of home quarantine – even if they did not develop any symptoms, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has announced.

Close contacts include those who have stayed within two metres of a Covid-19 case for more than 15 minutes.

According to a circular issued by the DHA, a copy of which Khaleej Times has seen, the 10-day period starts from the day they were exposed to a confirmed Covid-19 case.

They should also monitor their health. “Contacts who develop any related symptoms during the 10-day quarantine should be tested for Covid-19,” the circular added.

In its guidelines, the authority has also defined ‘close contact’ as anyone who has had a certain level of exposure to a Covid-19 case – from two days before the onset of illness and the date a positive test result was received to 14 days after. (See box for details on what makes one a close contact.)

The medical authority has also announced that the isolation period for certain Covid-19 patients has been reduced to 10 days from the initial 14-day period.

The shortened isolation period is applicable to Covid-19 patients who did not develop any symptoms since testing positive. The reduced isolation period also applies to patients with mild cases of Covid-19 who have fully recovered from their symptoms – without the use of fever-reducing medications.

As for patients who are hospitalised due to moderate, severe or critical Covid-19 symptoms, they can only be discharged when they have tested negative in a PCR test two consecutive times that are 24 hours (or more) apart.

In this case, the patient should have no fever for more than three days without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, the patient should also have improved minimal respiratory symptoms and their pulmonary imaging must show significant improvements.

According to DHA, this category of patients should self-isolate for seven days after they are discharged. If symptoms appear again during the two-week period after discharge, they should revisit the clinic.

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