Free PCR tests in Abu Dhabi: Health workers see screening numbers double in a day

Clinic operator Tamouh says daily testing numbers hit 45,000 as the city rolls out Al Hosn 'green status' system

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A provider of free Covid-19 tests said patient numbers doubled the day after Abu Dhabi's new green status system was brought in.

Tamouh Healthcare, which has a network of tents offering PCR tests, screened about 45,000 people at five centres on Wednesday – twice the number it recorded the day before.

Abu Dhabi residents and visitors aged over 16 now require a green status on their Al Hosn app to visit malls, hotels, beaches and parks.

These tests are for everyone's safety and the more we test then the safer it is for them, their loved ones and the community

In order to achieve that status, vaccinated people must now be tested every 30 days.

Those who have not been vaccinated must go for tests every three days, unless they have an exemption, in which case they must be tested every seven days.

The screening tents in Mussaffah and Al Bahia are run by Tamouh Healthcare Company.

The company urged everyone to get the vaccine - and to get tested regularly. The typical cost of a PCR test in Abu Dhabi is already capped by the government at Dh65 ($17) – one of the lowest worldwide.

Its services ensure people of all means, especially those on lower incomes, can get screened without delay.

The largest in the M-12 neighbourhood has been open for one month, and previously received 18,000 visitors a day.

This has now increased to 20,000, and organisers expect to exceed this figure over the coming week.

Two additional tents have been opened offering shade to the thousands waiting to be registered.

The waiting time is no more than ten minutes, and health workers take less than sixty seconds to test each person.

Speaking to The National, operations manager Obeid Al Khyeli said: "By offering free PCR tests I can guarantee as many people as possible get tested. We try to cover the largest segment possible and those with limited income."

"It is easy for someone to say that they won't get tested because they don't need to go to a mall or a hotel, and they don't want to waste their money," said Mr Al Khyeli.

"But by offering them a free PCR test, we leave them no excuse. These tests are for everyone's safety and the more we test then the safer it is for them, their loved ones and the community."

Restaurant manager, Ahmed Ibrahim queued up for his test at the Mussafah tent.

"I came from Abu Dhabi with my wife to get tested here because I heard how quick the process is. I was done in a few minutes," he said.

"It is an added benefit that it is for free, but I also like how I was treated, and how efficient and fast the process is."

Mr Ibrahim and his wife Rose were vaccinated last year.

Assistant school teacher Kusum Chanbrasiri from Sri Lanka lives near to the screening tent.

"I came after I heard from friends that the test was for free. I can't take the vaccine because I am planning to get pregnant," the 36 year old said.

"I am happy that the PCR test here is free and quick."

Opening times for the screening tents are from 10am to 10pm.