Results of the RT-PCR tests are provided within 24 hours of the samples being shipped to the UAE Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s health sector and its laboratories are now processing upto 10,000 imported samples every day for PCR testing.

COVID-19 test results for the samples are provided within 24 hours of being shipped, the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced on Thursday.

The tests are being conducted to aid the global fight against COVID-19, and are overseen by the Department of Health (DoH). They are facilitated by laboratory company, Unilabs, and logistics firm Agility Abu Dhabi, with the support of Etihad Airways.

The UAE already ranks among the countries with the highest rates of COVID-19 screening in the world, and this initiative. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the UAE has conducted more than 29 million COVID-19 tests on more than 9.5 million people in the UAE.

A total of 170,000 tests are processed every day at 22 labs licensed by the DoH for COVID-19 testing. These labs also report record turnaround times of four hours.

Sheikh Abdullah Al Hamed, DoH chairman, said that the initiative stems from the UAE leadership's belief that defeating this pandemic is only possible through humanitarian and international cooperation.

"Today, the carrying capacity of our health institutions are being strengthened and they meet the highest international quality standards, for the service of humanity - until we get out of this global crisis," he added.

"As the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, we are proud to be an active partner in coordinating and facilitating the government's pioneering efforts to address this crisis. These efforts include finding flexible solutions to changing requirements, priority shipping and providing practical solutions to global challenges,” said Mohamed Mubarak Al Mazrouei, chairman of the board of directors at Etihad Aviation Group.

"We appreciate the tireless efforts made by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi to enhance international cooperation and contribute to combating the epidemic and maintaining the health and safety of populations around the world,” said Mohamed Daoud, director general at Unilabs Middle East.

For his part, Eric ten Kate, vice-president at Agility GIL Life Sciences, said such international cooperation and partnerships between the public and private sectors make the world a safer place, which is a fundamental pillar to help overcome the pandemic.