Medical experts from NMC and Mediclinic—healthcare institutions that are now free of coronavirus disease (COVID-19)—said that people should immediately get themselves checked once they get exposure as well as these symptoms.
In The Filipino Times’ live streaming on Facebook titled “TFT Usapang OFW: Alagang Pangkalusugan sa panahon ng COVID-19”, doctors reminded UAE-based OFWs to get tested if they know that they are included in the high-risk groups, or if they get exposure to suspected positive cases.
According to Dr. Aileen Villanueva General Practitioner in Mediclinic Abu Dhabi and The Filipino Times Awards 2018 Healthcare Professional of the Year, symptoms now vary from patient to patient, but some of those they need to watch out for include—fever, sore throat, cough, shortness of breath, and body pains.
“‘Yong iba sinasabi back pain lang tapos kapag na-check, positive na pala sila. And lalo na kapag may exposure ka, kahit mild symptoms lang kailangan mo na magpatingin,” she said.
Dr. Arlene Adarne Dagondon, a General Practitioner at NMC Deira, also agreed, and added that those with underlying illnesses should immediately get tested even if they get the mildest of symptoms.
Process of checkup for COVID-19
The doctors also said that people who want to get checkup for COVID-19 must be mindful of the process so they can be accommodated properly.
Dagondon said that in NMC Deira, they have a triage counter that will check the history of each patient or suspected case—allowing for walk-in checkups for those who wanted to get tested.
“Mayroon din kaming call center para sa mga payo if dapat na bang pumunta ang isang pasyente. But if hindi emergency cases like elective surgeries, then you need to have an appointment,” she added.
For Mediclinic Abu Dhabi, Villanueva said they offer telemedicine where people can get appointments for COVID-19 tests.
The doctors also assured patients that they are undertaking stringent preventive measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of staff and visitors—including wearing personal protective equipment, provision of sanitizers on every floor, discouraging staff to go on breaks at the same time to ensure social distancing, thermal scanning, among others.
Dagondon said that NMC immediately coordinates the transfer of positive patients to quarantine facilities to ensure proper care, while Villanueva said Mediclinic reaches out to the Department of Health-Abu Dhabi for advice if they encounter positive cases.
For shared accommodations, be responsible
Meanwhile, for people in shared accommodations, or those who live where the ventilation and air conditioning is centralized, Dagondon asks people to be responsible enough to get tested if they develop any symptoms of COVID-19.
“Lahat tayo naka-AC kasi hindi tayo nagbubukas ng bintana. May possibility na magtagal talaga ang mikrobyo sa confined spaces kaya mainam sa mga taong may symptoms na magpatingin agad para ma-quarantine na,” she said.
She said that the patient has to have the initiative to be responsible enough to get tested to mitigate the spread of the disease, noting that the UAE government has very organized testing centers all over the country.
Villanueva, meanwhile, recommended putting dividers or partitions between beds for shared bedroom so minimize the spread, especially when someone coughs or sneezes.
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