Ministry of Health and the Health Authority Measures to Combat Coronavirus Disease and Other Communicable Diseases
Ministry of Health and the Health Authority Measures to Combat
Coronavirus Disease and Other Communicable Diseases
While the world today is being crushed by Corona-virus, the governments are rushing to intensify their procedures to prevent the infection and the transmission of the virus and its transformation into a pandemic which severe consequences may not be controlled. You may know that any of the measures taken by the government in the UAE are defined by the Federal Law number 14 of 2014 for combatting the communicable diseases. It specifies a number of measures to be taken by the Ministry of Health and the Health Authority for combatting the Coronavirus disease or other communicable diseases. The Health Authority meant by law is any federal or local governmental authority specializes in the State’s health affairs. Here, we shall enumerate the procedures defined by law:
- Establishing a health unit in the border crossings as needed to monitor the communicable diseases to limit their spread.
- Monitoring the communicable diseases in all health facilities and other establishments, places and gatherings and the relevant authorities have to provide the Ministry and the Health Authority with the information they require and taking the necessary measures.
- When reporting a person with or suspected of having Corona virus disease, or any communicable disease listed in the table number 1, attached to the aforementioned law, the table where the legislator has numerated the communicable diseases that must be reported, or the table number 3 for common diseases to be reported that are transmitted from animal to human, the Ministry and the Health Authority must immediately do the following:
- Moving to the place of the infection, for the cases where this is required.
- Monitoring the condition to verify the disease and the source of infection, and to investigate the contacts and the unreported cases.
- Taking the required urgent measures to prevent the spread of the disease including the isolation, if necessary.
- Collecting and sending samples taken from the patient for lab testing to confirm the diagnosis of the disease and the source of the infection.
- Referring the infected and the contacts to receive the required treatment.
- The issuance of the compulsory hospitalization decision to subject those infected with any of the communicable diseases in the event of their refusal directly or following the treatment prescribed to them despite notifying them of the necessity of that. The concerned authorities must execute this, each within its competence, and they may seek the assistance of the public authority to execute this decision.
- The order, when necessary, with disinfecting any international means of transportation or subjecting any geographic area to isolation, until it is disinfected in accordance with the international health regulations to prevent the spread of the disease or to limit its spread.
- Taking the necessary measures – when necessary- to reserve any means of internal transportation, or to disinfect the buildings, real state or movable property to prevent the spread of the disease or to limit its spread.
- Giving the infected or the suspected of sickness a sick leave if it is proved that the person is infected or suspected of having a communicable disease or that he has the pathogen and his exercising for his activity will harm others’ healthy.
- The order- when any communicable disease is likely to spread- with closing any educational institution or any cinema, sport, amusement or other place or to extend the period of their closure for a sufficient period to prevent the spread of any communicable disease or to limit its spread.
- The order with removing any temporary building or damaging luggage or clothes if they are proved to be contaminated or possible to be contaminated with any pathogen without the possibility of disinfection by the followed methods. The order is sentenced by the Minister and the concerned authority is committed to implement it within the limits of its competence.
- The order with destroying any food, drink or any materials used in preparing foods that have been verified to be contaminated with the pathogen of any communicable disease transmitted through food, beverages or the safe disposal of any animal infected or suspected of being infected with the pathogen.
- The order with prohibiting the products dealing when an infection is caused by a disease transmitted through food or beverages in a food or beverage factory, farm or a store of preparing food especially dairy products except after making sure that it is free of pathogens and taking the necessary health measures in this regard.
- Taking the necessary measures in the event of pandemic and the order with the following:
- Declaring any place or geographical place as a contaminated place and organizing entry and exit from it.
- Preventing or restricting gatherings or holding private and public celebrations.
- Taking the appropriate health measures regarding the regulation of markets, roads and other public places.
- Taking the appropriate measures for the patient or the person suspected of infection or their contacts with the aim of preventing the spread of the disease or limiting its spread.
- Taking the necessary health measures to ensure water safety and protecting its sources from pollution by any pathogen.
- Taking any other measure it deems necessary to protect the public health and to prevent the further spread of the pandemic disease.
- Prohibition of moving the body of any deceased person with a communicable disease or opening a box for a deceased person with a communicable disease from abroad or burying a deceased person with a communicable disease except in accordance with the terms and conditions determined by the executive regulation of the law, subject of this search.
- Immunization of the newborns against targeted communicable diseases in accordance with the national immunization program set by the Ministry, provided that those covered by the national immunization program receive the immunization and the services provided for free.
- The guardian of the child or his sponsor must take him to the immunization centers to receive the necessary immunization doses according to the scheduled immunization program. The school health physicians, in coordination with the school administrators, must immunize the children under their supervision, in accordance with the national immunization program.
- Raising awareness of the health requirements necessary to prevent the travellers from communicable diseases in accordance with the international health regulations. Those who wish to perform the Hajj or Umrah rites must be immunized against communicable diseases and they must subject to other health measures before leaving the country and upon their return.
- Establishing divisions, units or programs, each of which specializes in one or more pandemic diseases, which identification and control measures are issued by a decision of the Minister, and the Ministry and the Health Authority must provide places for isolation in accordance with the approved specifications and standards determined by the executive regulations of the law.
- Organizing the procedures of medical examination for those coming to the State for the purpose of residence, work or study to report that they are free from communicable diseases that are determined by a decision of the Council of Ministers.
These were the set of procedures provided by law before the Ministry of Health or any federal or local governmental authority specializes in health affairs in the country. We depended in this search on the Federal Law number 14 of 2014 for combatting the communicable diseases, and the Council of Minister’s resolution number 33 of 2016 in the Executive Regulation of the Federal Law number 14 of 2014 for combatting the communicable diseases.
Mohamed Mahmoud Al Marzooqi law firm
Attorney / Mohamed Al Marzooqi
Mohamed Al Marzooqi advocates & Consultancy
Lawyer in Abu Dhabi, Dubai – UAE