As the Corona Virus pandemic continues, doctors and researchers are learning more about the new coronavirus and COVID-19, the illness it causes and much more. Here are few Frequently Asked Questions answered by our expert doctors.


What is the COVID-19 virus?

They are a large family of viruses which may cause illness in animals or humans. In humans, several corona viruses are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recently discovered coronavirus causes coronavirus disease, COVID-19.

As per WHO, people can catch COVID-19 from others who have the virus. The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. These droplets land on objects and surfaces around the person. Other people then catch COVID-19 by touching these objects or surfaces, then touching their eyes, nose or mouth. People can also catch COVID-19 if they breathe in droplets from a person with COVID-19 who coughs out or exhales droplets. This is why it is important to stay more than 1 meter (3 feet) away from a person who is sick.

It is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. Studies suggest that corona viruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).

If you think a surface may be infected, clean it with simple disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, tiredness, and dry cough. Some patients may have aches and pains, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat or diarrhea. These symptoms are usually mild and begin gradually. Some people become infected but don’t develop any symptoms and don't feel unwell. Most people (about 80%) recover from the disease without needing special treatment. Around 1 out of every 6 people who gets COVID-19 becomes seriously ill and develops difficulty breathing. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention.

The “incubation period” means the time between catching the virus and beginning to have symptoms of the disease. Most estimates of the incubation period for COVID-19 range from 1-14 days, most commonly around five days.

No specific treatment was identified but only symptomatic management are ongoing

To date, there is no vaccine and no specific antiviral medicine to prevent or treat COVID-2019. However, those affected should receive care to relieve symptoms. People with serious illness should be hospitalized. Most patients recover with supportive care.

You can reduce your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19 by takin some simple precautions:

  • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
  • Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance.

Stay at home for 14 days or avoid contact with other people and report immediately to respective Public health department if you have any signs and symptoms. Use a mask if you are sick to prevent the spread of illness to others.

Yes, it is recommended to avoid social gatherings and public events.

By collecting Naso-pharyngeal or oro-pharyngeal swabs and testing the samples for RT-PCR method.

Take necessary precautions to avoid the spread of the disease and report to the public health department at the earliest.

As per the guidelines from DHA, 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

Specific to Aster and UAE

We have implemented all standard DHA guidelines to prevent the COVID-19, by providing awareness to our stake holders, providing necessary PPEs, hand washing facilities and disinfection of clinics to prevent COVID-19.

All our patients can continue visiting Aster Clinics and Pharmacies for their healthcare needs. We have taken all precautionary measures as per standard guidelines in the interest of health of our employees and patients.

No, we do not screen for corona virus. The screening for this virus can be done only at the Government Hospitals and Health Centres under DHA or MOH.

Aster does not provide any Fit to Work certificate to our patients.

Our expert doctors can help you understand your symptoms better and would recommend you accordingly to go for the COVID-19 tests. However, the confirmation tests are only done in Government facilities.

Naso-pharyngeal or Oro-pharyngeal swabs are collected in most of the cases.

Usually 8 hours to process the sample, once it is received in Main Lab. From the information which is available on DHA website, we understand that the test results will be available to patients within 48 hours to patients tested in UAE.

Depending on the travel history, people may be asked to stay home for a period of 14 days and watch their symptoms. Please refer to the Government guidelines for the same. These are subject in view of the circumstances.

While health authorities across the world are asking travellers to postpone their travel plans unless necessary, it is important for those who travel to know the checks and measures in place as well as their responsibility, especially if they have recently travelled to places of widespread coronavirus transmission.Please refer to the Government Guidelines on the same. These are subject to change.

Please refer to the Government Guidelines on the same. These are subject to change.

DHA has given instructions to all Insurance companies to provide the required facilities for individual to get the COVID-19 treatment. At Government Hospitals, the testing is approximately around AED 200.

No, these are different vaccines given for different medical condition and would not be helpful in preventing 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.

For latest and recent information on Dubai Health Authority guidelines please follow the below links.

Please stay safe and take all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of this disease. We’re in this together.