Coronavirus: how to get tested in the UAE and how much does it cost?

To book a Covid-19 test, call 8001717 or use the Seha mobile app

The UAE is mass testing people for coronavirus to identify undiagnosed cases and those who do not show symptoms.

The extensive testing programmes aims to end the outbreak by tracing and isolating new cases and their contacts.

The lab in Masdar City, the first facility of its kind to operate on an extensive scale outside of China, has helped speed up the diagnosis of suspected cases, screening of their close contacts and other high-risk groups.

The country has also boosted testing capacity as thousands visit drive-through centres, with each capable of testing up to 500 or 600 people a day.

More than 32,000 tests were carried out on Tuesday alone.

With such extensive screening in place, who should be tested and how much does it cost?

The National explains.

Who should be screened for the disease?

According to health authorities, anyone who shows symptoms of the virus should be tested.

This includes fever, difficulty in breathing, coughing, headache and a sore throat.

“In addition to the symptoms, they check if you had a recent travel trip or had close contact with an infected person or anyone suspected of being infected,” said the Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre.

Is testing free?

Yes, testing is free of cost for people with existing medical conditions, the elderly, pregnant women and those displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

Everyone else must pay a Dh370 fee through the Seha app.


Where can you go to get tested?

Those who wish to get tested can go to any of the 14 drive-through testing centres across the country.

In Abu Dhabi, there are testing centres in Ghayathi, Madinat Zayed, Al Wathba, Zayed Sports City, Al Bahia, and Al Hili and Asharej in Al Ain.

In Dubai, there are drive-through centres in Al Khawaneej, Port Rashid, Al Nasr Club, Dubai Festival City, Al Qusais, Silicon Oasis, Discovery Gardens, Al Warqa and International City.

There are also testing centres in each of the five other emirates.

How is the test performed?

At the drive-through centres, drivers place their Emirates ID cards into a registration machine as nurses take a nasal swab and a temperature reading.

Health departments in the city where the test is performed take care of the process by advising a period of isolation or stay in hospital.

Results are delivered via a text message within 48 hours.

If people test positive, what next?

If the patient is insured, “insurance companies will honour any claims received,” according to instructions issued to hospitals in the UAE.

Those who are uninsured, suspected or are confirmed cases will not foot medical bills at healthcare facilities, with the government bearing the cost.

To book a Covid-19 test, call 8001717 or use the Seha mobile app.