Abu Dhabi drive-through Covid-19 centre to close next week

Testing for the virus across the UAE has declined since January’s peak period

A healthcare worker performs a coronavirus test at a drive-through centre in Abu Dhabi. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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Abu Dhabi is to close one of its drive-through Covid-19 test centres next week.

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, widely known as Seha, announced that the Al Shamkha centre will shut from Monday.

Testing levels across the country are still high ― typically exceeding 200,000 a day ― but have dropped off from a peak period in January when they topped 500,000.

Rules mandating motorists to have green status on Al Hosn app, which requires a negative PCR test to keep active, to enter Abu Dhabi were lifted at the end of February.

Global travel restrictions have also eased, meaning travellers to many destinations no longer need to present a negative result before flying.

But the green pass system access to public places in Abu Dhabi remains in place.

Seha said people can still take PCR tests and receive vaccinations at existing drive-through centres in the capital, a list of which is available on the authority's website and app.

The Al Shamka branch is the latest drive-through centre to close its doors in recent months.

In March, Seha announced that the mobile service at City Walk, Dubai, would cease operations.

In January, Seha permanently closed its Covid-19 drive-through testing centre in Mina Rashid, Dubai.

In November, health chiefs shut the first mobile Covid-19 testing centre to be established in the UAE, when the pandemic was sweeping through the world in 2020.

The Zayed Sports City drive-through facility in Abu Dhabi was the first of its kind and started operations in March that year.

Demand for testing is particularly high at Seha centres because PCR tests cost only Dh40 (about $11).

More than 176 million PCR tests have been carried across the country to date.

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Updated: July 29, 2022, 10:58 AM