UAE 10 November 2020: Dubai Health Authority (DHA), in partnership with Dubai Police, yesterday announced that residents with certain medical conditions can now apply for permits for exemption from wearing face masks.
DHA’s General Medical Committee Office will evaluate the applications, which must include a medical report confirming the applicant suffers from medical problems that can be aggravated by face masks.
Applications can be made through Dubai Police’s website www.dxbpermit.gov.ae. Apart from medical reports, key documents that must be submitted include the applicant’s Emirates ID, said official news agency Wam.
The committee will evaluate the request and accompanying medical documents against certain criteria and conditions. The application will be processed within five days. The validity of the exemption granted to an applicant will depend on his or her health condition.
Categories of people eligible for a mask exemption include:
- Those suffering from fungal dermatitis, especially if they have severe symptoms in the face like bleeding, itching and scaly skin.
- Those allergic to any component of a mask (allergic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, contact urticaria).
- Individuals with severe herpes simplex infection that affects the mouth, nose or face.
- Individuals with acute and uncontrolled chronic sinusitis.
- Patients with uncontrolled asthma People of Determination who have mental and psychological conditions.
The DHA stressed that the decision to provide exemptions to certain categories of people is part of its objective of ensuring the safety and well-being of the public.
While wearing masks is not mandatory for people with exemptions, the authority encouraged them to wear a face mask in public places as far as possible to protect themselves and others from the risk of infection.
Take seasonal influenza vaccine
With the beginning of winter in the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre (ADPHC) is calling on citizens and residents in the capital to be vaccinated against the seasonal flu.
The ADPHC noted that it is especially important to be vaccinated this year due to the pandemic. The seasonal flu vaccine is updated annually to protect against common viruses that cause influenza.
The vaccination is free of charge for all UAE nationals and vulnerable expatriate individuals who may develop influenza-related complications including healthcare professionals; children under the age of five; pregnant women; individuals who have recently completed a pilgrimage of Mecca; smokers; adults above the age of 65; individuals receiving treatments that may weaken their immune system; chronic disease sufferers (such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure); individuals with chronic lung diseases including asthma, chronic liver disease, kidney disease; and obese individuals with a body mass index, BMI, of 40 or more. For all other residents, the vaccination is priced at AED50 and can be administered at all Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, SEHA, and Mubadala Healthcare facilities in the emirate.
Matar Al Nuaimi, Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre said, “We continue to prioritise the health and wellbeing of the entire Abu Dhabi community. As such, we call on all members of the community to be vaccinated, as it is the best way to prevent and reduce the complications of seasonal influenza. This will contribute to limiting the spread of the virus among members of the community and preserving the health of people of all ages, which will enhance the efficiency of the health sector and improve the quality of its services.”
Seasonal influenza is a disease caused by influenza viruses, which mainly affect the respiratory system, specifically the nose and the pharynx. The symptoms range from mild to severe, where most patients diagnosed with influenza require anywhere from a few days and up to two weeks to recover from infection. Those affected may develop exacerbated inflammation of the lungs, ear, sinuses, or general deterioration of their health.