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Effectiveness of not Quarantining Passengers after Having a Negative COVID-19 PCR Test at Arrival to Dubai Airports

Abstract

Manal Taryam, Dhoha Alawadhi, Ahmad Aburayya, Ala' Albaqa'een, Alanood Alfarsi, Ibtehal Makki, Najma Rahmani, Muhammad Alshurideh, Said A. Salloum

Since March 11th 2020 as the World Health Organization (WHO) has proclaimed Coronavirus Disease 2019 a pandemic, governments have had to implement regulations and policies to prevent the spread of a deadly disease such as hand hygiene practices, wearing masks in public areas, maintaining social distance as well as quarantine or isolation. Current evidence on the 14-days quarantine which is obtained post-travelling is very limited, and this raises some critical questions about the effectiveness of its implementation in the rising COVID-19 infection trend. This study aims to assess the current non-quarantine practice in Dubai for passengers returning from travel, which is expected to enhance tourism in the emirate of Dubai and boost the economy while maintaining community safety and preventing imported transmission of COVID-19. The study adopts a quantitative method using a survey design to accomplish its objectives. A questionnaire is performed as the main quantitative instrument to collect data from passengers who arrived at Dubai airports with negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test at arrival (day 0) and repeated the PCR test on day 5- day 10 from arrival. In this study, all relevant data were accessed using the Dubai airport database, a sample of 574 passengers have been surveyed using a systematic random sampling method. The study findings indicated that the proportion of positive cases on day 5 - day10 from arrival was significantly less than 1% (0.00017) with a p-value of 0.0234. Therefore, it can be concluded that the objectives of implementing a 14- day quarantine post-travel were not met when passengers tested negative for COVID-19 PCR upon arrival at Dubai airports. This study contributes to the literature concerning the effectiveness of implementing a 14-day quarantine strategy on passengers who arrive at airports with a negative PCR test result. Accordingly, it progresses on building theory relating to infectious diseases in the healthcare setting. Furthermore, the study assured what are the best preventive measures to be implemented for travelers coming to Dubai airports.

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