Coronavirus: UAE opens 13 drive-through Covid-19 testing centres

The facilities were built over a period of 10 days following orders from Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed

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Thirteen new drive-through Covid-19 testing centres have opened across the UAE.

The centres were built by Abu Dhabi Health Services company, or Seha, on the orders of Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, following the success of the first facility in Zayed Sports City.

More than 300 employees and volunteers helped build the testing centres, which span a total area of 23,000 square metres, over a period of 10 days.

The facilities are staffed by 630 qualified medical, nursing, technical and administrative workers who have been trained to test drive-through patients in less than five minutes.

The centres are in Ghayathi, Madinat Zayed (Al Dhafra), Al Bahia and Al Wathba in Abu Dhabi, Al Hili and Asharej in Al Ain, Port Rashid and Al Khawaneej in Dubai and individual facilities have been built in Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Fujairah and Ras Al Khaimah.

The centres opened consecutively over this week, and have since tested more than 12,000 people.

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

Priority will be given to those with symptoms, the elderly, pregnant women and those who suffer from chronic diseases.

Precautionary examinations cost Dh370, and payment is processed through the Seha app. Results take up to 48 hours to receive.

The test involves a temperature check and a nasal swab. Those being tested must present proof of their appointment and bring their Emirates ID.

Sheikh Mohamed inaugurated the country's first drive-through centre, in Abu Dhabi, on March 28, a few days before it opened to the public.

He also underwent a coronavirus test and, after the first centre's success, ordered more drive-through centres to be opened across the country. Since the first facility opened in Abu Dhabi, more than 7,000 people have been tested.

Dr Farida Al Hosani, spokeswoman for the UAE health sector, said the drive-through centres were a safe and quick way to test people because people remain isolated from members of the public in their cars. Under regulations to protect the public from the spread of the virus, no more than three people should be in a vehicle at any time.

Opening times:

The Abu Dhabi centres, including those in the city, Al Wathba, Al Bahia and Al Ain, open between 8am to 8pm, from Sunday to Thursday. Each centre can test 600 people daily.

The Abu Dhabi centres in Ghayathi and near the Madinat Zayed Council in Al Dhafra are open from 8am to 12pm, then 4pm to 8pm everyday except Fridays.

Centres in Port Rashid and Al Khawaneej in Dubai and each facility in Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah are open from 10am to 6pm Sunday to Thursday. Each of these facilities can test 500 people per day.