Coronavirus: three drive-through testing centres to open in Dubai

The quick and safe facilities will open next week with more planned across the Emirates

Three drive-through coronavirus testing centres will open in Dubai next week, the head of the emirate’s health authority said.

Speaking to Arabic-language newspaper Al Bayan, Dr Humaid Al Qutami said the facilities would open in Al Khawaneej, Port Rashid and at Al Nasr Club.

Tests at the centres take about five minutes and are conducted while the patient is still sat in their car. The speed and natural isolation of the patient make the drive-through set-up ideal for coronavirus testing.

The pioneering centre opened in Abu Dhabi last week, after it was inaugurated and tested by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

The facilities, which are open from 8am to 8pm daily, can conduct 600 tests a day and results take between 24 and 48 hours to process.

Medics take the patient's temperature and then swab their nose.

All drive-through testing centres will prioritise people who are displaying symptoms of the virus, the elderly, people with underlying health issues and pregnant women. Bookings must be made in advance and tests for those in the priority category will be free of charge.

Anyone wishing to book a test, who does not fit the priority category, can still do so but must pay Dh370. People can book by calling Estijaba on 8001717.

Similar facilities will be opened Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah, Al Ain and Al Dhafra.

On Thursday, it was announced that the Abu Dhabi facility had conducted almost 3,000 tests since it opened.