Coronavirus: More Dubai screening centres to offer Dh50 blood test for Abu Dhabi commuters

Two drive-throughs in Dubai now perform quick DPI screening

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More screening centres in Dubai will offer a Dh50 test aimed at providing commuters travelling to Abu Dhabi a cheaper and faster way to enter the capital.

Drive-through facilities at Mina Rashid and Khawaneej were initially set up to perform PCR nasal swab tests for Dh370.

Now medics there will perform a rapid blood test that delivers results in less than five minutes.

The diffractive phase interferometry (DPI) test does not confirm if someone has Covid-19 – but does show whether the person's red blood cells are surging to fight off an illness.

The rapid test cannot be used for international travel but police at the Abu Dhabi-Dubai border accept it to allow entry to the capital.

The two expanded centres, near the Gold Souq and Dubai airport respectively, will take the pressure off a large screening centre at Ghantoot, near the Abu Dhabi-Dubai border, which has been booked up weeks in advance.

As The National reported last week, the centre at Ghantoot processes about 6,000 drivers per day, with 10,000 seen each day over the recent Eid Al Adha holidays.

Anyone who fails the test is not permitted entry and is taken aside and asked to undergo a PCR test for Covid-19.

In addition to the centres in Dubai, five in the Northern Emirates offer the DPI blood test. The drive-through screening centre at Zayed Sports City in Abu Dhabi also offers the test.

Residents have to have an appointment and can book online through the Seha App or call 8001717.

The test is valid for 48 hours and only used to cross the border.