swab test
Nine new centres will come up in the UAE next week Image Credit: Agency

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s coronavirus testing capacity will be 72 per cent higher next week, following the opening of nine new screening centres by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).

Existing facilities will also increase operating hours, thus allowing for many more tests to be administered, Seha – Abu Dhabi emirate’s public health provider – announced in a statement today.

The expansion of testing capability will allow 115,000 tests to be processed by Seha facilities each week.

The six new drive-through centres will be located in the capital’s Al Shamkha, Al Madina and Corniche, Al Ain’s Al Masoudi and Al Dhaher areas, and Dubai’s City Walk. Three other centres will be launched in Al Dhafra region, in Silaa, Mirfa and Liwa. In addition, all drive-through centres will begin operating six days a week, instead of just five.

In accordance with the directives by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, free tests will be provided to Emiratis, domestic workers in Emirati households, people of determination, pregnant women, residents aged over 50 years, people with chronic diseases, those with coronavirus symptoms and individuals who have come into contact with coronavirus patients.

Book an appointment

To book an appointment, residents must book a slot through the Seha mobile application, which is available at the Ios App Store and Google Play. However, senior residents and those with special needs can call up the Istijaba hotline on 8001717 to book.

After a booking is made, those who are not eligible for free screenings will have to pay the Dh370 fee through the app, especially as case payments will not be accepted at screening centres.

Eid closure

All Seha screening facilities will be closed during the Eid break, from Friday, which coincides with Ramadan 29, until Shawwal 3, which is likely to fall on Monday or Tuesday.

They will resume regular hours after the Eid break.

Operating hours

8am to 7pm from Saturday to Thursday in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain

8am to 7pm from Sunday to Thursday in Al Dhafra

10am to 6pm from Sunday to Thursday in all other emirates