Covid-19: Abu Dhabi announces new border rules to enter from within UAE

The new measures are effective from Sunday, December 19



by

Ashwani Kumar

Published: Wed 15 Dec 2021, 6:15 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Dec 2021, 12:05 PM

Abu Dhabi will resume the use of facial Covid-19 scanners to enter the emirate from within the UAE from Sunday, December 19 in the latest effort to tackle coronavirus.

The Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee made the announcement in the wake of the number of new cases rising above 100 for two consecutive days. On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention detected 148 positive cases after conducting 340,100 PCR tests.

Starting this Sunday, authorities will use EDE scanners to check people for Covid-19 infection at the border entry point to the Capital.

The scanning system technology, developed by EDE Research Institute Abu Dhabi, can detect a possible Covid-19 infection by measuring electromagnetic waves. The presence of RNA particles of coronavirus in a person’s body help in providing an immediate result, and this is not expected to cause any delay or traffic snarls.

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The Committee also clarified that the scanning technology does not store any personal information.

“Potential positive Covid-19 cases will be referred to an on-site testing centre, where they will be given a free antigen test, and results within 20 minutes.”

The mobile phone scanners have been used successfully as effective and viable detectors of Covid-19 virus at shopping malls in the emirate.

The Committee said the new measure at the entry points will strengthen precautionary measures to help maintain the low Covid-19 infection rate of 0.05 per cent of the total tests in Abu Dhabi.

“Abu Dhabi’s low infection rate has been successfully achieved through the ongoing implementation of preventive and precautionary measures, including continuous testing and contact tracing, use of the green pass system to access public places and events, and high vaccination rates.”

Earlier this year, the scanning system was rolled out after a successful pilot phase. The EDE scanners were first used at all land and air entry points, and shopping malls on June 28 – a day after the health authorities announced identifying the Delta variant.

Recently, the World Health Organisation said that the Omicron variant, which is more transmissible than the Delta strain and reduces vaccine efficacy, is also spreading faster. Till date, the variant has spread to 77 countries including the UAE.

The UAE has among the highest vaccination rates in the world and offered a single dose of the vaccine to 100 per cent of the eligible population and 91.26 per cent is fully vaccinated.

With a decline in the number of new cases, Abu Dhabi had eased all restrictions, including the cancellation of PCR test result norms, by the end of September. The relaxation back then followed a dip in the infection rate in the emirate of 0.2 per cent of total tests and the activation of the green pass system to enter some public places.

Currently, people don’t need to show a negative PCR test result or green pass on Al Hosn app to enter Abu Dhabi. But the green colour status and 96 hours PCR test validity are mandatory requirements to enter public places and hosting events in Abu Dhabi.

Meanwhile, the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) announced that residents must have a green pass and 96-hour negative test result to enter a venue during the Christmas and New Year Eve celebrations.


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