Coronavirus: free testing campaign for residents begins in Sharjah

A new testing centre at Sharjah Expo can test up to 3,000 residents daily

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, May 6, 2020. the new Ambulatory Healthcare Services, a SEHA Health System Facility, National Screening Project in Mussafah Industrial Area in Abu Dhabi .  People are thermal checked at the registration center.
Victor Besa / The National
Section:  NA
Reporter:  Nick Webster
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More than 250 people were tested for Covid-19 on the first day of a new screening campaign in Sharjah.

The 253 residents were screened using the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) nasal swab test at a temporary testing centre in Al Nahda on Sunday.

The free testing campaign, organised by Sharjah Police and the Ministry of Health and Prevention, will run until July 15 with the aim of screening as many people as possible.

“Instructions signs were set at the entrance and exits of the Al Nahda park and a self-sterilising gate was installed before entering the tent,” said Col Omar Al Ghazal, deputy director of the special tasks and president of the labour camp inspection committee.

“After checking the residents’ Emirates ID, the test is taken.”

A new and permanent testing site was been set up at Sharjah Expo in anticipation of more people coming to get tested in the next few weeks.

The centre can accommodate 3,000 visitors of all ages daily and has separate entrances for men and women.

All Sharjah government employees were tested for free before they returned to offices in June.  They were screened in a dedicated screening facility at the Sharjah Chess Club.

On Saturday, more than 71,000 additional tests for the coronavirus were carried across the country. It was the largest single daily number reported to date.

The UAE’s mass testing programme is part of the emirate’s early detection strategy, aimed at identifying, isolating and treating Covid-19 patients before they can spread the virus.

Drive-through testing facilities have been set up across the country to test as many people as possible to find out if they have contracted the virus.

Abu Dhabi has carried out an extensive testing programme in its high-density areas like Mussaffah.

Last month, Dr Jamal Al Kaabi, acting undersecretary for Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health, said medics would work their way through densely populated areas of the emirate to offer free testing.