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New Covid-19 scanners boost footfall at malls in Abu Dhabi

Ismail Sebugwaawo /Abu Dhabi
ismail@khaleejtimes.com Filed on July 5, 2021

(KT/Ryan Lim)

Shoppers can move around knowing that everyone is Covid-19 negative.


More shoppers are now visiting malls after Abu Dhabi rolled out Covid-19 scanners last week, mall managers told Khaleej Times.

The special scanners are helping improve operations and business because of its convenience, and shoppers are also at ease, knowing that others are not carrying the virus.

Abu Dhabi authorities had on June 28 implemented the use of EDE Covid-19 scanners at shopping malls, some residential areas, and all land and air entry points in the emirate as part of measures to enhance Covid-19 protocols.

The EDE scanning technology can detect a possible Covid-19 infection by measuring electromagnetic waves, which change when the RNA particles of the virus are present in a person’s body, therefore providing an immediate result.

According to authorities, if the scanner identifies a person as being potentially infected with Covid-19, they will not be permitted entry and must follow the approved protocol and take a PCR test within 24 hours.

Melvin Mathew, from Marina Mall’s marketing and communication department, said the use of the new technology at their mall has so far improved their operations and is boosting shoppers’ confidence.

“Things have been moving on well since the implementation of the EDE Covid-19 scanners at the mall. The shoppers are happy with the new initiative because it takes them a second or two to be scanned and gave access to the mall,” he said.

“We have received quite a number of the EDE scanners from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development which we are using at all the mall’s entrances. Officials have also trained our security teams on how to use the new technology,” he added.

He said the scanners have so far identified a few cases of shoppers who tested positive for Covid-19 and were all advised to go back and immediately undergo PCR tests to confirm their status and start treatment.

Navaneeth Sudhakaran, general manager of Al Wahda Mall, hailed the convenience the EDE scanning technology offers.

“The service rate is very impressive as the scanner takes only a few seconds to scan and avoids long queues at the entrances. If the scanner shows a negative result the customer is allowed to enter the mall. This gives shoppers confidence while shopping, knowing that everyone inside the mall is Covid-negative,” Sudhakaran said.

Bhupinder Singh, general Manager and CFO of Dalma Mall, says there has been a positive response for the initiative from everyone, including shoppers, shop operators and others using the mall.

“The new technology is quick, effective and convenient, and all people like it. There is nothing the shoppers are required to show. As long as their result is negative, they are allowed access to the mall,” he said.

“The implementation of the EDE Covid-19 scanners has helped promote safety in our mall. It has also increased people’s confidence as they can move around knowing that everyone is Covid-19 negative.”

Singh noted that over the past week, a few Covid-19 positive cases have been detected by the EDE scanners and that those visitors were turned away and advised to immediately go for PCR test.

Mayank Pal, general manager of Khalidiyah Mall said he hasn’t received any complaint about queues or crowds at the entrances since the implementation of the EDE scanning technology at their mall last week.

“It is really a very convenient technology and has helped improve our operations. Everyone is happy with these special Covid-19 scanners because they don’t have to wait in queues to get access to the mall,” said Pal, adding that the scanners identified two Covid-19 positive cases on the first day of the implementation and one of the second day.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee said earlier that it expanded the roll-out of EDE scanners following a successful pilot phase and approval by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH). The DoH said the EDE scanners were effective and viable detectors of the Covid-19 virus.

ismail@khaleejtimes.com

author

Ismail Sebugwaawo

A professional journalist originating from Kampala, Uganda, Ismail is a happy father with strong attachment to family and great values for humanity. He has practiced journalism in UAE for the past 13 years, covering the country's parliament (FNC) and crimes, including Abu Dhabi Police, public prosecution and courts. He also reports about important issues in education, public health and the environment, with a keen interest in human interest stories. When out of reporting duties, he serves the Ugandan community in Abu Dhabi as he wants to see his countrymen happy. Exercising and reading are part of his free time.





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