Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi labs processing PCR samples from other countries

Country becomes first to test Covid-19 samples of people from other nations

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Abu Dhabi laboratories are accepting thousands of PCR samples a day from other countries.

The Department of Health said the emirate was supporting international testing by processing PCR samples in its  labs.

The initiative is supported by Etihad Cargo, Agility and Unilabs.

This is the first time any country has undertaken testing of Covid-19 samples of people from other nations.

The health authority did not reveal which countries were sending samples to the UAE. The service is available to anyone who wishes to be tested.

Abu Dhabi labs are accepting and processing between 5,000 and 10,000 samples daily from outside the UAE. Labs in the emirate can test 170,000 samples a day.

"Recent developments in the global pandemic resulted in an increased demand for quality and timely testing. For this reason, Abu Dhabi stepped in to support international testing efforts by providing laboratory analysis of Covid-19 samples from outside the UAE," the DoH said.

“The UAE is one of the top countries worldwide in terms of PCR testing capacity, number of tests conducted per capita, as well as the total number of daily laboratory tests for Covid-19 per capita.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Abu Dhabi increased daily tests from about 1,000 to 170,000 per day. There are 22 laboratories processing samples and results are given in just four hours.

Results for samples are provided within 24 hours of arrival.

"This initiative reflects the UAE's belief that winning the fight against this global pandemic can only be achieved through human solidarity and international collaboration," said Abdullah Al Hamed, chairman of DoH.

“Recently, we were in conversation with several countries to support them with conducting laboratory tests in Abu Dhabi.

“Discussions are under way globally to develop a similar framework to tackle the challenges brought on by the pandemic and investigate how Abu Dhabi may provide the necessary support in laboratory testing and other services.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UAE has conducted more than 29 million Covid-19 tests for a population of 9.5 million.

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