Sat 28-03-2020 22:30 PM
ABU DHABI, 28th March, 2020 (WAM) -- The Department of Health (DoH) Abu Dhabi and the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), today announced the launch of the country’s first drive-through testing facility for COVID-19. Located in the capital’s Zayed Sports City, UAE citizens and residents can be tested within five minutes, with results being delivered through SMS and the SEHA app.
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 will operate every day from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. 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 370AED.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi, commented: "The establishment of the new drive-through testing centre comes on the direction of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, and His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. It reflects their Highnesses’ commitment to provide all citizens and residents with the facilities needed to combat COVID-19 and reduce its impact."
He also added; "Our leadership will take care of everyone who lives in the UAE, ensuring their health, safety and lives. The Department of Health Abu Dhabi will continue to work closely with SEHA to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and provide the people with access to all the required medical facilities."
The DoH Abu Dhabi and SEHA are together leveraging best-in-class technologies, innovation and artificial intelligence, and creating a model for healthcare excellence in Abu Dhabi, based on global best practices.
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. SEHA staff and facilities have been on the frontlines of the fight against Covid-19, ensuring patients get the best treatment, while educating the wider community of the prevention measures. 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."
Mohammed Hawas Al Sadeed, Executive Director of Out-patient Treatment Services commented on the testing process, saying, "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."
Hawas further explained the protocols, adding, "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.