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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 March 2021

Coronavirus: Saliva tests for 2,000 Abu Dhabi pupils

Spit tests are being offered to pupils at 25 schools in the emirate

A pupil takes a Covid-19 saliva test at Al Rabeeh school in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Media Office
A pupil takes a Covid-19 saliva test at Al Rabeeh school in Abu Dhabi. Abu Dhabi Media Office

Saliva testing has been used to screen more than 2,000 pupils in Abu Dhabi for Covid-19.

Less invasive than PCR swabs, the tests are being offered to pupils at 25 schools in the emirate.

Spit-screening is only conducted after securing parental consent. Results are received after six to 12 hours.

The project started at Al Rabeeh School in October and the second phase is now under way, Abu Dhabi Media Office said on Sunday.

Pupils between the ages of four and 12 are currently eligible.

The scheme is being undertaken by the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, the Department of Education and Knowledge and the Biogenics Laboratory.

"This is an easy test for young children and for their families as well," said Dr Umniat Alhajiri, community health director at the centre.

"Some children even enjoy the process of giving a saliva sample."

Dubai's health authority in November also introduced a saliva test for children.

Youngsters between 3 and 16 travelling abroad or getting tested as a precaution can visit one of 19 government-run centres.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of pupils returned to private schools on Sunday after a three-week winter break.

Children in all public schools in the Emirates and pupils in private schools in Abu Dhabi will study remotely for the next fortnight.

Cases in the UAE have been rising steadily over the past few weeks.

Another 1,590 cases of Covid-19 were reported across the UAE on Sunday, ending a four-day streak of the highest number of daily infections reported.

Pupils return to Abu Dhabi schools in August

Updated: January 3, 2021 05:30 PM

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