Covid-19 testing halted in several Dubai malls as public sent to dedicated centres

Government-run screening booths Dubai Mall, Nakheel Mall and Mirdif City Centre closed on Tuesday

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Dubai Health Authority halted testing in several major malls on Tuesday and urged the public to visit dedicated screening centres instead.

PCR testing stations in Dubai Mall, Nakheel Mall, Mirdif City Centre as well as Al Hamriya Port Majlis and Al Shabab Al-Ahli football club have now closed.

The DHA also announced it had stopped taking appointments for Covid-19 PCR testing at Al Barsha Health Centre from Wednesday, February 3.

Walk-in testing services are still available at Deira City Centre and at the Mall of the Emirates.

Appointments must be booked to get tested at DHA facilities in Al Rashidiya Majlis, Jumeirah 1 Port Majlis and Al Nasr Club, as well as in private hospitals.

As the focus shifts towards a national vaccination programme, fewer clinics will offer PCR tests without prior appointment to cope with the anticipated demand for vaccination.

In the private sector, Mediclinic Middle East hospitals and clinics continue to provide up to 6,000 PCR tests a day at facilities across the country.

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More than 23.7 million PCR and DPI tests have been carried out during the pandemic.

The UAE government launched a national vaccination campaign in December.

More than two million vaccine doses have been given to Emiratis and residents since the start of a campaign.

The UAE authorised use of the Sinopharm vaccine, which is available nationwide. In Dubai, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is also available to prioritised groups.

The Sinopharm vaccine is available to anyone over the age of 16 at more than 152 centres nationwide.

It is available at all clinics run by Abu Dhabi's public health operator, Seha; at Ministry of Health and Prevention centres; and at several private hospitals across the country, as well as in some majlis.

Health centres that come under the UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention accept walk-ins. But appointments are needed for vaccination centres and drive-through centres operated by the Seha public hospital operator.

Residents can book appointments on the Seha app. Appointments are also needed to get vaccinated at private hospitals in the country.