Drive-thru Covid-19 test centre opens in UAE; get examined after pre-assessment
Abu Dhabi - Authorities issue details on timings, procedure and who should take the test.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has opened a mobile drive-thru Covid-19 test center for all community members as UAE steps up measures to contain the virus outbreak.
The facility, situated in Sheikh Zayed Sports City, has been launched by Abu Dhabi Health Services Co, SEHA, in collaboration with the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi.
The opening saw Sheikh Mohamed receive an in-car radio welcome voice note from SEHA requesting him to prepare his ID card and to stay put until reaching the registration point where the ID was digitally scanned.
In the following stoppage point, a nasal swab was collected from Sheikh Mohamed.
The UAE leader was then shown around the test facility and got firsthand experience of its advanced equipment. He spoke to the centre's service squad and got briefed by Sheikh Abdulla Bin Mohamed Al Hamed, Member of the Executive Council, Chairman of the Department of Health, on the measures followed by the centre, where all necessary inspections take around five minutes.
Timings and procedure
The centre operates from 8.00am to 8.00pm every week-day and provides services to around 600 people per day, with priority given to senior citizens, pregnant women and people with chronic diseases.
Through this initiative, the UAE has become the fifth nation in the world to implement a drive-through service, accelerating testing times for the nation's population.
The new service will be offered for Thiqa and non-Thiqa card holders, ensuring that testing facilities are available to everyone. With a maximum of four people being tested at one time, the new system is an extension of the UAE's commitment to ensure availability of Covid-19 testing for all.
The facility is equipped with world-class medical professionals and equipment, the facility will allow for average capacity 600 tests daily.
As part of the process, patients will need to book an appointment through Estijaba 8001717.
People will need to participate in a pre-assessment screening, where they would need to answer questions related to their condition. Following the pre-screening, people who are considered to have contracted the virus and those who are most vulnerable, such as the elderly, pregnant women or people with chronic diseases will be prioritized.
The test will be free for these individuals.
For the wider community who prefer to do the examination for reassurance only, the testing procedure will cost Dh370.
Mohammed Hawas Al Sadeed, Executive Director of Out-patient Treatment Services commented on the testing process: "The facilities set up at the Zayed Sports City will have four entry paths from which patients can arrive.
"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. Patients will receive their results within six hours through SMS and on the SEHA smartphone app.
"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."
Patients in Abu Dhabi with Covid-19 symptoms can take appointments by contacting Estijaba service on 8001717 or by being transferred through Department of Health.
"The UAE, under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, attaches paramount importance to human wellbeing and sets public safety and health on top of our priorities," Sheikh Mohamed said.
"We will continue taking all precautionary measures that ensure safety and protection of our citizens, residents and visitors. And since the onset of the coronavirus crisis, we have been proactive to take all measures conducive to ensuring our social, economic and medical security in order to survive the current situation and contain its impact and repercussions."
Sheikh Mohamed hailed the efforts made by various sectors and institutions in the country under the current trying circumstances, specially, he said, "the country's first line of defence against Covid-19, namely our medical and nursing teams and all those belonging to the health sector in the country
"We reiterate our thanks and appreciation to your sincere efforts in serving the UAE society and ensuring safety of your people," he said, addressing the country's health sector's personnel.