The authorities are noting an increase in hospitalisation rates of infected people - mostly positive patients above the age of 50 and middle-aged people with comorbidities.

Doctors are also attributing the rise in cases due to everyone’s casual attitude towards Covid-19 protocols.

As per current guidelines, a minimum of 10 days of home isolation is still recommended. However, “After seven days from the time of first symptoms, it is reasonable to assume you are low risk to yourself and others,” opines Dr Mohammad Fawzi Katranji, Consultant Pulmonologist at Al Zahra Hospital, Dubai.

He adds, “Primarily those who are hospitalized are over 50 years old and have others with comorbidities such as heart and lung disease. Pregnant women should also be evaluated."

“I think more people are accepting the reality of the Covid. Many have chosen to ignore the Covid rules. People personally accept the risk. This has definitely led to rise in Covid cases.”

Doctors underline persons who are at risk of progression to severe diseases are mainly part of the elderly population.

Dr Ramesh Bhaskaran, Specialist Internal Medicine, Aster Hospital, Qusais, says, “the age of people getting admitted in hospitals is 65 years and above. Others include people with uncontrolled comorbidities such as uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular diseases (uncontrolled hypertension, coronary artery disease), chronic lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, interstitial lung disease), chronic kidney disease, pregnancy, immunocompromised individuals, or people on long-term immune suppressants may require hospitalization based on their clinical status.”

Healthcare professionals reiterate the line of treatment is in accordance with the latest guidelines by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP).

Patients are given symptomatic and supportive care for the symptoms and antiviral medication based on the clinical status and risk stratification.

Bhaskaran adds, “Patients are advised adequate rest, plenty of oral fluids (except for patients who have heart failure/renal failure), nutritious diet and appropriate medications so that recovery is faster and complete.”

Anybody experiencing upper respiratory infection symptoms like fever, headache, runny nose, cough, sputum, shortness of breath, body ache is advised to consult a doctor for investigations and treatment.

Dr Rajesh Kumar Gupta, Specialist, Internal Medicine at Burjeel Hospital, Sharjah said, “Based on the symptoms and investigations, including a Covid-19 test, the treating doctor will decide if the patient should be hospitalized and provided injectable treatment in an isolation room or if the patient should be sent for home isolation for 10 days and prescribed oral treatment.”

He adds, “During hospitalization, Covid-19 patients suffering from moderate to severe disease with pneumonia are treated with medications like antipyretics, antivirals, anti-allergy drugs, anticoagulants, steroids, nebulization, and intravenous fluids in isolation rooms. Some patients may require monitoring in Intensive Care Units (ICUs) with the need for intubation or ventilation. Mild Covid-19 cases with upper respiratory infection symptoms can be advised home isolation for 10 days with oral treatment.”

Healthcare professionals highlight symptoms of the coronavirus cases at present are mostly mild, as most of the population is vaccinated. Majority are displaying symptoms like low grade fever, cough, and flu.

However, patients experiencing dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing) and fast breathing, older and immunocompromised patients, or people experiencing extreme fatigue, reduced alertness, increased diarrhoea, or delirium, and other high-risk group individuals may have to get admitted.

Dr Syed Nadir, Specialist Internist, Adam Vital Hospital Dubai says, “According to the updated guidelines from Dubai Health Authority (DHA) treatment guidelines for non-hospitalized patients with mild to moderate symptoms include antiviral medications like, Paxlovid, and IV Remdesivir and Molnupiravir for treatment of high-risk patients who are at risk of disease progression/hospitalization.”

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