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Guideline for (Quarantine – Medical Isolation)

Professionals & Health Workers

Definitions

Quarantine

Restrict the activities or separate people suspected of being exposed to contagious diseases and have no symptoms or a positive result, to reduce the spread of infection. The quarantine shall be in a designated facility or at home with applying specific requirements.

Isolation

Separate the infected person (has a positive result) or have symptoms (suspected of having an infectious disease) to reduce the spread of infection. Isolation is either in the hospital or at home, according to the patient’s health condition.

The mechanism for dealing with people arriving from outside the Kingdom

Before Arrival

Prevent all arriving Non-Saudi Travelers who are above (8 years)* from entering until they provide negative PCR test certificate issued from a verified laboratory not exceed (72) hours from the time the test is undertaken until departing to the kingdom.
* Observing the regulations of the country related to children PCR test.

Upon Arrival

  1. All Travelers must be registered in TATAMAN and TAWAKKALNA applications that designed to following up and monitoring people during period of quarantine and isolation.
  2. Educate the Travelers by providing them with the required brochures and instructions during self-quarantine at home.
  3. Evaluate Travelers’ conditions by health practitioners at the points of entry and applying Visual Triage procedures (evaluate the presence of COVID-19 symptoms).
  4. Applying quarantine or home isolation according to the Visual Triage procedures.

If Travelers have no Symptoms Upon Arrival

  • All Travelers who arrived to Saudi Arabia must undergo self-quarantine.
  • Quarantine will be at home if the quarantine requirements are applied otherwise it will be at a designated facility.
  • Travelers must fill out pledge stating their health condition, and if any COVID-19 symptoms appeared they must call 937 immediately.
  • The quarantine period depends on the PCR test after arriving to the entry point, as following:
    1. Self-quarantine will be at home for 7 days (excepted when the house is not fully equipped, according to the exceptions below, otherwise the quarantine will be at a designated facility) without the need for a laboratory test, if they have no symptoms.
    2. Reduce the quarantine period at home to 3 days (excepted when the house is not fully equipped, according to the exceptions below, otherwise the quarantine will be at a designated facility) if there is a negative PCR test taken after 48 hours from arrival in the Kingdom and no symptoms appeared.

Exceptions from Home Quarantine

  • Failure to adhere home quarantine according to TATAMAN and / or the competent authorities reports.
  • If there is no internet services in the home.
  • No smartphone.
  • If the house is not equipped for home quarantine, according to the public health report in the region.

If Travelers develop Symptoms of COVID-19 Upon Arrival

Isolate Travelers who develop symptoms and considered them as suspected cases after their health condition is evaluated. They must conduct a PCR test within the first 24 hours of arrival, either at the point of entry or at the nearest health center (as determined by the public health administration in the region ). The place of isolation is determined based on the following:

  • The isolation will be at home if the case’s health condition is stable (except if the home is not equipped for isolation) until the test results appear.
  • Isolation in a health facility: If the case’s condition is stable and the house is not suitable according to the public health evaluation or the exceptions below.
  • The unstable condition will be transferred to the health facility for further evaluation.
  • People whose condition is stable shall be provided with the smart bracelet to enable the health authority to follow up and monitor them while they are in home isolation.
  • people must fill in a pledge to adhere to the instructions of home isolation until the result appears or ending the period of isolation (as determined by the public health administration in the region ).
  • If the test result is positive and the health condition of the case is stable and does not require admission, the isolation will be completed at home.

Exceptions from Home Isolation

  • Failure to adhere self-isolation according to TATAMAN and / or the competent authorities reports.
  • If there is no internet.
  • No smart phone is available.
  • If the house is not equipped for self-isolation, according to public health report in the region.
  • If there is no one taking care of him/her in the house.
  • When the patient has chronic diseases, the possibility of complications increases.
  • When symptoms develop or the condition becomes unstable, he/she must be referred to the hospital.

Self- Isolation

Self-Isolation Definition

Separate the infected person or suspected of having an infectious disease at home to reduce the spread of infection. During the current situation of COVID-19, home isolation must impose for some cases and all cases must be registered to followed up with them through TATAMAN and TAWAKKALNA applications, and by using the smart bracelet.

Cases that require Home Isolation

Self-isolation for people with suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 is considered in the following situations:

  • Someone tested positive for COVID-19 or suspected cases that have mild symptoms that do not require admission, according to the region’s public health assessment.
  • Positive cases that have mild symptoms and have recovered (to complete the isolation period at home), whether the result of re-test is positive or negative.
  • Someone who was in a close contact with confirmed cases who do not have symptoms or have mild symptoms and are awaiting the results of the test according to assessment of public health authority in region.

Principles for Self-Isolation for Positive Cases

  • Ensure that patients are in good condition so that they can recover at home and do not require admission in hospital.
  • Provide patients with the necessary instructions and brochures during their self-isolation.
  • Patients must download and register in TATAMAN and TAWAKKALNA applications.
  • Patients must sign the pledge stating that they will comply with self-isolation, and if they develop symptoms, they should contact 937 immediately or go to the emergency at the nearest health facility, as well as a they must adhere to daily follow-up in TATAMAN application, avoid violations and the consequent procedures.
  • Provide patients who have symptoms with smart bracelets and oblige them to wear them.

Ending Self-Isolation

Confirmed Case without Symptoms

Conduct a PCR test after 72 hours, and if the result shows two negative PCR tests in a row at 24-hour interval, the isolation period must be ended.
or
A patient who did not show any symptoms and spent 10 days or more since the last positive test is considered recovered without the need to undergo another PCR test, and the period of his observation must be ended.

Confirmed Case with Symptoms

Patient who had mild symptoms and spent 3 days or more after improvement of symptoms( fever disappeared without using antipyretic medication, and other symptoms improved ) in addition to a two negative PCR tests in a row at 24-hour interval.
or
Patient who had mild symptoms and spent 3 days or more after improvement of symptoms (fever disappeared without using antipyretic medication, and other symptoms improved) is considered recovered without the need to undergo another PCR test (provided that he/she spent 10 days or more since the last positive test) and the observation period must be ended.

  • The decision of isolation ending for positive cases with severe symptoms in hospitals depends on Health care Practitioners Protocols.

Quarantine and Isolation Requirements

Requirements of designated place for Quarantine or Isolation

Before applying of self-isolating or quarantine to a patient at home, who were in contact with a confirmed case, or people who arrive in Kingdom, the home is evaluated by the public health team in the region, governorate, or health center to decide whether the house is suitable for the isolation or not.

(This evaluation can be conducted by phone or direct assessment) depending on the public health’s decision:

  • Having a separate and well-ventilated room with toilet. Use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household where possible.
  • Appoint a supervisor to help them if they need to.
  • Provide the patient or the person who is caring for him/her with the personal protection equipment (gloves and masks).
  • Reduce the number of people taking care of the patient at home, and educate them about the mode of disease transmission, how to wash their hands and the proper way to wear the mask.

 

Advices While in Quarantine and Isolation:

  • Stay home except seeking for medical care.
  • Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and avoid using public transportation or taxis when possible.
  • Isolate yourself from others: You should stay in a separate room from the rest of the household especially the elderly, people with chronic diseases, or pregnant women, and avoid a close contact with pets. Use a separate bathroom if possible.
  • Visitors are not allowed during this period.
  • Use face mask: Wear a mask when leaving the house for necessity (for example, going to the hospital) or while spending time in shared areas, you should also stay one and a half meters away from other people to reduce the spread of the disease.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze: Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, dispose of the used tissues in the waste bin and wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 40 seconds, and if soap and water are not available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% of alcohol .
  • Clean your hands: Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds, particularly after coughing, sneezing and using the bathroom, and before eating or preparing food, and you should also avoid touching your face before washing your hands.
  • Avoid sharing personal items: You should not share dishes, cups, towels, or bedspreads with other or pets in your home.
  • Clean surfaces that frequently touched: Clean frequently touched surfaces include doors, computer keyboards, mobile phones, and others by using alcohol or chlorine sterilizers.
  • Well ventilation: Make sure shared areas are well-ventilated by opening windows where possible.
  • Monitor your symptoms: When you have a cough, fever or shortness of breath, call 937 directly. Avoid visiting health center or hospital emergency to reduce spreading the infection to others.

 

Preventive Measures for People Who Live in the Same Household as the Patient in Isolation / Quarantine:

  • Observe a social distance of at least a one and a half meters from the infected person and avoid unnecessary close contact.
  • Relatives who are taking care of sick family members must wear a mask while in close contact.
  • Wear a mask and gloves when cleaning the room and toilet.
  • Ensure to focus on hygiene, and this includes avoid sharing patient dishes, using disposable tissues and disinfection of surfaces that are frequently touched, such as lights switches and door handles.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds before and after touching patient, his/her medication, food, contact lenses, or other things related to the patient.
  • Use disposable gloves and wash your hands immediately after touching the patient’s clothes and bed covers.
  • Clean the patient’s clothes and bed covers with warm water and detergent for as long as possible and then dry them with a clothes dryer.

Requirements for (Quarantine – Isolation) in a Designated Facility

Rules for People Who are Under Quarantine / solation in a Designated Facility:

  • Isolate yourself from others: You should stay in your room and avoid contact with other people, especially the elderly, people with chronic diseases, or pregnant women.
  • Use face mask: Do not leave your room unless necessary (for example: Wear a mask when leaving your room for necessity (for example, going to the hotel lobby) or while spending time in shared areas, you should also stay one and a half meters away from other people to reduce the spread of the disease.
  • Visitors from outside the facility are not allowed, and also visiting between patients inside the facility.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 40 seconds, or by using alcohol sanitizer for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or by using your clothes sleeves when you cough or sneeze, dispose of the used tissues in the waste bin and wash your hands immediately.
  • Wear a medical mask if other people inside your room, such as health workers or room service and cleaning workers.
  • Avoid sharing eating or drinking utensils or personal items with others. Eating and drinking in the public facilities of the facility are not allowed.
  • Use the bathroom inside your room and avoid using bathrooms in common areas inside the facility.
  • Inform the health staff if you develop respiratory symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath or fever.

Requirements for the quarantine place in the designated facility

  • Evaluate the appropriateness of the place designated for quarantine based on the following:
    1. The quarantine facility must contain a bathroom that works well.
    2. An isolation room must be equipped for suspected case.
    3. The room must have essential services such as electricity, hot water, communication, and air conditioning and ensure they work efficiently.
    4. Providing the essential services such as food and water.
    5. Ensure there are specialists and health worker to take care of people under quarantine.
    6. Provide personal protection tools, disinfectants, and medical waste supplies.
    7. It is preferred to have entertainment devices such as the Internet and TV.
    8. Provide health education methods about the disease.
  • Educate people who are suspected of being infected with methods of disease transmission, symptoms and prevention methods.
  • The facility shall close gyms and entertainment lounge, including swimming areas, in addition to meeting rooms inside the facility.
  • If a violation occurred from patients or workers, the facility should inform the competent authorities immediately.

Procedures that should be followed during quarantine by supervisors in a designated facility

  • Monitoring the health status of people under quarantine – isolation .
  • Ensure that workers and people under quarantine follow preventive measures such as washing hands and wearing a medical mask.
  • Ensure using disposable utensils for eating and drinking.
  • Disinfect all surfaces and tools that are frequently touched daily with disinfectants approved by the Ministry of Health and by trained people, making sure they are wearing gloves, respiratory mask and a medical gown during cleaning.
  • Clean the patient’s clothes with warm water and detergent for as long as possible and then dry them with a clothes dryer, while wearing gloves, mask and medical gown.
  • Ensure that the quarantine room is well ventilated.
  • Disposing of medical waste in a safe way.
  • Inform the supervisor of the medical quarantine in case of fever or in case of developing any respiratory symptoms for people under quarantine or workers in the quarantine area.

Quarantine System and Violation Penalty

Quarantine System:

Health Control System at Points of Entry issued by Royal Decree No. M / 47 dated 7/8/1433 AH, which states the following:

Article Sixteen:

The competent authority may place any person suspected of being infected of contagious disease and arrived from infected country under observation. The person also may subject to a medical examination, and the authority has the right to conduct the necessary investigations to verify his health condition. And when he/she is allowed to move to another region, the competent authority in that region must be informed to follow up with him/her. This observation continues until the end of the incubation period for the suspected disease. The competent authority must isolate the person suspected of having a disease if it deems that there is a serious risk of transmitting the infection to others.

Article Seventeen:

The competent authority at the entry points – in case of public health emergency occurs that causes international concern or for public health purposes to prevent the spread of the disease internationally – may conduct a medical examination to any person suspected of being infected or confirmed infected, and it may prevent any person who is ill or suspected of being ill from traveling.

Article Twenty-One:

All people arriving on international flights to the Kingdom must adhere to international and local health instructions and requirements to prevent diseases spreading. The competent authority shall take all necessary preventive and remedial measures.

Article Twenty Five:
Without prejudice to more severe penalties stipulated in other laws, anyone who violates any of the provisions of this system and its implementing regulations shall be punished with a fine not less than five hundred thousand (500,000) riyals.

Applying Penalties for Violations

The Ministry of Health apply the penalties mentioned in Article 25 for everyone who violates the articles of this system and the quarantine or isolation controls set by the Ministry of Health.