Coronavirus: UAE's largest healthcare provider cuts cost of PCR swab test to Dh250

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, or Seha, will offer Covid-19 tests for a reduced rate

The UAE's largest healthcare provider has slashed the cost of PCR nasal swabs at its facilities by nearly a third.

Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, or Seha, will offer the Covid-19 test for Dh250 – reduced from Dh370 – at its drive-through screening centres it operates across the country.

"For your convenience, we have reduced the price of the PCR nose swab test effective immediately across all Seha testing centres," Seha said on Twitter on Thursday.

Seha-operated hospitals do not offer elective PCR tests but provide them free to patients showing symptoms for Covid-19.

A number of private clinics and hospitals in Abu Dhabi and Dubai have introduced a reduced rate for the test as part of ongoing efforts to drive down Covid-19 infection rates.

Some have cut prices across the board while others are delivering discounts for people working in particular fields, such as school workers and bank employees.

It is still free of charge for those suspected to have contracted the virus and those in vulnerable categories including people with chronic illness, UAE citizens, and those aged 50 and above.

At Mediclinic Al Noor Hospital in Abu Dhabi, school pupils and school workers who want to be tested are charged Dh199 for the PCR nasal swab.

Passengers with a valid flight booking on Etihad can also take a PCR test at Mediclinic Hospital on Airport Road for Dh199 too.

In Dubai, Emirates Specialty Hospital offers the swab for Dh249 for walk-in appointments, with results within 24 hours.

Members of the public can take the test for Dh250 at Dubai's Medeor Hospital, with results again received within 24 hours.

The PCR test can also be used to enter Abu Dhabi from other emirates.

Residents need a negative PCR or diffractive phase interferometry (DPI) laser test result from the previous 48 hours, the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority said last week in an update to its border regulations.

The UAE has conducted close to 8 million Covid-19 tests since the outbreak began as part of a mass screening strategy aimed at stemming the spread of the virus.