Video: UAE's first drive-through Covid-19 testing unit
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Video: UAE’s first drive-through Covid-19 testing unit

Video: UAE’s first drive-through Covid-19 testing unit

The procedure takes five minutes to complete and patients are notified of their results within six hours

UAE drive-through Covid-19 testing

On Saturday, the UAE opened its first Coivd-19 testing drive-through facility open for both residents and citizens of the country located in the capital emirate of Abu Dhabi, reported official news agency WAM.

The UAE is only the fifth nation in the world to feature such a drive-through Covid-19 centre. It has a capacity to test 600 people a day, with a maximum of four people being tested at any given time.

The unit has been jointly developed by the Department of Health (DoH) Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), and was inaugurated by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who in a video is seen undergoing a test while seated in his car.

Rashed Saif Al Qubaisi, group deputy CEO, said: “The leadership of Abu Dhabi has provided direction to ensure that the Abu Dhabi community have access to high quality healthcare in line with Abu Dhabi Vision 2030. The launch of the drive-through facility will allow for the early diagnosis of people infected with the virus and will help us contain its spread. With this new technology, SEHA will be able to provide results within a few hours, and rapidly transfer patients to hospitals for treatment.”

The UAE reported 63 new cases of the coronavirus on Saturday, taking the total number of diagnosed cases in the country to 468.

Read: Covid-19: UAE registers 63 new cases; Saudi reports fourth death

In March, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said that all Dubai residents can contact the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) via voice or video calls 24/7 for free medical consultations regarding the Covid-19 coronavirus.

Read: Dubai to provide residents free medical consultation on coronavirus

Here is everything you need to know about the new drive-through facility including who can get tested, the cost and what to keep in mind before showing up to get tested.

Where is it located?
It is located in Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi and it is open daily from 8am-8pm.

How can I book an appointment?
Those who wish to be tested will need to call 8001717, which is contact number for the National Emergency Medical Programme (Estijaba).

They will need to participate in a pre-assessment screening and share details regarding their condition.

Based on their responses, those who are suspected to have contracted the virus and who are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, pregnant women or people with chronic diseases will be prioritized and asked to proceed to the centre.

Are the tests free?
For those who are determined to have contracted the virus or vulnerable (see previous question), the tests are free.

For those who do not fall under this category but would still like to be tested to reassure themselves, there will be a fee of Dhs370.

What happens when I reach the testing facility and how long will the the procedure last?
The tests will take five minutes to complete. Mohammed Hawas Al Sadeed, executive director of Out-patient Treatment Services explained the procedure: “The facilities set up at the Zayed Sports City will have four entry paths from which patients can arrive. All testing is conducted within the car, with patients needing to remain seated. As patients arrive to Zayed Sports City, they will receive a welcome message from SEHA which is broadcast via the in-car radio. Patients will have to keep their ID cards ready and windows closed.

“At the registration point, SEHA employees will provide patients with a medical sterilizer for their hands. The patients will then need to insert their Emirates ID into the e-reader for registration, before proceeding to the next point. After registration, the patients will have to lower their car window for a nose swab test. On completion of the test, the patients can leave and return to their homes where they are advised to maintain self-isolation until they receive their test, and are cleared of contracting the COVID-19 virus.”

See the video below for a demonstration of the entire testing routine.

When and how will I be notified of the results?
Patients will receive their results within six hours of being tested through SMS and on the SEHA smartphone app.


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