Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus. The disease causes respiratory illness (like the flu) with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and in more severe cases, difficulty breathing. You can protect yourself by washing your hands frequently, avoiding touching your face, and avoiding close contact (1 meter or 3 feet) with people who are unwell.

​​​​​​​​​​​ What is the Disease?

  Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus, first identified in a cluster with pneumonia symptoms in Wuhan city,   Hubei province of China.

  Most of the cases were epidemiologically linked to the seafood and animal market.

How is the virus transmitted?

  • Coronavirus strains are spread from person to person through contaminated droplets from a person who is sick with the illness (through coughing or sneezing) or contaminated hands.
  • The virus can spread through touching an infected surface.
  • The incubation period extends from 1 to 14 days (that means the amount of time from being exposed to the virus to showing symptoms)

 The symptoms are: 

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Sore throat

Note: Not everyone with a cold or upper respiratory symptom needs to get tested for COVID-19. Only a person with a symptoms and travel history can do the test.

Is there any treatment for COVID-19? 

The treatment of COVID-19 depends on enhancing the immunity level of patients, treating the symptoms and easing complications, as there is no specific treatment for the virus to date.

Is there a vaccine against the coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Currently there is no available vaccine that protects against novel coronavirus.

When should I wash my hands?

  • After handing animals or animal waste
  • When hands are dirty
  • After toilet use
  • After coughing or sneezing
  • When caring for the sick
  • Before, during and after you prepare food
  • Before and after eating

 How to greet people while having respiratory symptoms such as a cough and a cold?

  • Avoid shaking hands and just wave. 
  • Avoid nose-to-nose greeting.
  • Avoid hugging or kissing others.

If you intend to travel to areas affected by coronavirus:

  • Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues.
  • Avoid animals (alive or dead), animal markets, and products that come from animals (such as uncooked meat).

Note: Avoid traveling abroad due to the spread of COVID-19 in multiple countries, except if it is an extreme necessity.

 Procedures for those arriving to the UAE:

If you have any symptom of a respiratory infection and have traveled to any country with a widespread outbreak of COVID-19 , we advise you to do the following:

  • Visit the nearest health center or hospital and immediately inform the doctor of your recent travel history and your symptoms.
  • Follow the doctor’s instructions, and if you were advised to self-isolate, please avoid any direct contact with people. 
  • Take the information from reliable sources.


 Misconceptions about the coronavirus


 Can facemasks protect me from COVID-19?

Facemasks can’t protect you from the disease, in fact, it can cause the user to constantly touch their face to adjust their mask, which increases the risk of transmission if your hand is infected.

It should only be used under two conditions:

  • If you are suffering from respiratory symptoms such as coughing and sneezing
  • If you are taking care of someone suffering from respiratory symptoms

Can antibiotics cure COVID-19?

No it can’t, antibiotics fight bacteria and have no effect on viruses.

Can influenza vaccine prevent COVID-19?

No it can’t because they can only fight the virus that causes influenza, which is different from the COVID- 19 virus.

Can garlic protect us from COVID-19?

Garlic is healthy as it contains antimicrobial properties. However, there is no evidence that eating garlic can protect us against COVID-19. 

Can I shop online?

Yes, you can. There is no scientific evidence until now, which proves that COVID-19 can be transmitted through products.

Am I at risk of being infected with COVID-19 if an infected person walks past me?

No, it can only be transmitted if you have direct contact with the person infected (less than two meters away) through constant contact, and through touching.

Is it safe to order food at restaurants?

Yes, but order food that is cooked well and make sure to eat it while it’s hot.

Why should we avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth before washing our hands or sanitizing them?

While touching surfaces, your hands can collect a number of viruses, which then can be transferred to your eyes, nose and mouth when touching them and cause you to get COVID-19.

In the absence of a tissue, why should we use the inner part of our arms when coughing or sneezing? 

The droplets that come out when coughing and sneezing contribute to the spread of viruses such as cold, flu, etc. and it is best to use the inner part of the arm if a tissue is not available because there is no contact between that part and the things we frequently touch or use.


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