Dubai travel agency shut down for selling Covid-19 tests on WhatsApp

Authorities took action after the firm provided unlicensed testing services to customers

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A Dubai travel agency which sold Covid-19 tests online in breach of health regulations was closed down.

The firm, based in Business Bay, offered the home service via a WhatsApp account for an unspecified cost.

Dubai Economy took action after receiving complaints from consumers about the quality of the testing.

Only medical facilities licensed by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and Dubai Health Authority are permitted to provide PCR tests.

The travel agent, which was not named by officials, used a WhatsApp business account to allow customers to select a date for their test and provided an electronic link to complete the transaction.

The travel agency was subsequently shut down and DHA was provided with information related to the laboratories that co-operated with them.

"We will not hesitate to take action against any commercial establishment trying to exploit the prevailing pandemic situation, and we ask all commercial establishments to abide by the relevant laws and regulations," said Abdulaziz Al Tannak, of Dubai Economy.

"Our inspection teams continue to conduct intensive field monitoring campaigns across the emirate."

Dubai Economy urged the public to report any breaches of safety guidelines through the Dubai Consumer App available on Apple, Google and Huawei stores, by calling 600545555, or via the website.