Coronavirus: Dubai announces face mask exemptions for eligible individuals

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Dubai will exempt individuals with certain medical conditions from having to wear a face mask as required in the United Arab Emirates amid the coronavirus pandemic, the official WAM news agency reported on Monday.

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Those who fall under specific categories may apply on a system developed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Dubai Police using the following website:

“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,” WAM news agency reported.

People suffering from the following medical conditions are eligible to apply, according to WAM:

• 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.

Applications are expected to be processed within five days and the validity of exemption depends on the individual’s health conditions, the news agency reported.

Despite this new option, authorities urge individuals who may be exempt to wear face masks while in public places “as far as possible” in order to protect themselves and others from the risk of infection.

COVID-19 cases in the UAE have reached 143,289 as of November 9 while 148,959 people have recovered. The death toll hit 515.

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