16-year-old student tests positive for COVID-19 in UAE

Jojo Dass
The Ministry of Health and Prevention urges residents to avoid travel abroad

DUBAI. A picture taken on December 25, 2019, shows the skyline of Dubai with Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building. Photo by Guiseppe Cacace/AFP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A 16-year-old student in Dubai is the latest confirmed COVID-19 case in the UAE, the Department of Health Authority (DHA) has disclosed.

The DHA said in a statement said the parent of the student developed symptoms of COVID-19 , the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, 5 days after returning to Dubai, and infected the teen.

“Both the student and family members have been quarantined in hospital and are stable and recovering well. All other family members have also been quarantined,” it said.

“Within the framework of comprehensive preventive measures against the spread of coronavirus, DHA is conducting tests and monitoring the students, staff and workers of the school that may have interacted with the coronavirus patient,” it added.

DHA also said it has “adopted stringent proactive precautionary measures to ensure the health, safety and well-being of all students of the school and their families.”

“In coordination with the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), we have issued instructions for classes in the school to be suspended. The school is being sanitized as per international best practices in preventive measures against the coronavirus.

“DHA is working closely with the Ministry of Health and other authorities and stakeholders to take counter measures against the disease in accordance with World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations and standards,” the government agency said.

The Ministry of Education earlier announced that schools and universities in the UAE will be closed for 4 weeks starting Sunday, March 8.

Avoid travel abroad

The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) on Thursday, March 5, urged UAE citizens and residents to avoid traveling abroad due to the spread of COVID-19 in multiple countries.

MoHAP said in a statement that those who travel may have to undergo preventive measures upon their return to the UAE, including undergoing medical checks at the airport and a 14-day home quarantine.

Those who test positive will be transferred to a designated health facility for treatment and quarantine to ensure their safety and to avoid contact with others, the ministry added.

MoHAP also said that the UAE follows precautions and measures prescribed under international health standards, noting the recovery of 5 coronavirus patients in the UAE.

Following this, Consul General Paul Raymund Cortes, head of the Philippine mission to Dubai and its neighboring northern emirates, asked Filipinos to follow the MoHAP advisory.

“Heed the advice of the Ministry – if travel can be avoided, do so. If not, then be aware that preventive measures may be taken upon return,” he said.

As of press time, there are 27 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country. It could not be officially be verified whether the 16-year-old student was already included in that count. – Rappler.com