Abu Dhabi: A total of 51,100 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Abu Dhabi International Airport covering passengers, airline crew members and employees of the airport since the first week of February this year in the wake of the global spread of the pandemic.
As part of the extensive health and safety measures implemented across the facility, Abu Dhabi International Airport partnered with Pure Health, the largest laboratory operator in the GCC, which managed the massive COVID-19 screening initiative covering the 24/7 operations at the airport.
During the period of various restrictions and the suspension of passenger flight services, the airport remained open for vital cargo operations serving capacity-constrained markets, special repatriation flights and facilitating global humanitarian relief efforts.
“We are delighted to have partnered with Pure Health to establish a comprehensive COVID-19 screening programme in the airport. Our testing programme was established in coordination with the relevant authorities and designed to bolster our collective efforts to protect public health during this challenging time,” said Mohammed Husain Ahmed, general manager of Abu Dhabi International Airport.
“Operations at the airport have continued smoothly and efficiently despite the robust precautionary measures in place including social distancing, the mandatory use of personal protective equipment (PPE), thermal screening, and nasal swab and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in line with the recommendations and guidelines of the UAE’s health and civil aviation authorities in addition to the World Health Organisation (WHO),” added Ahmed.
“We are proud to partner with Abu Dhabi Airports and offer our expertise of global standards to screen its staff members, airline crew members and passengers arriving at the airport since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. So far, a total of 51,000 tests were performed,” Shaista Asif, chief operating officer at Pure Health.
“For the project, we set up a special diagnostic system at the airport with registration desks for patients connected with passport and Emirates ID scanners, leading to the swab screening area managed by highly trained medical professionals. The system includes logistics and supply chain channels of Pure Health’s supply centre and a specialized laboratory,” she added.
“Our system ensured that the airport operation had all the supplies needed to go on uninterrupted and that all the samples reached the lab in line with international standards and procedures in the shortest amount of time, ensuring a quick turnaround time,” said Dr Gurdeep Dhatt, chief medical officer at Pure Health.
“We have been collaborating with healthcare providers and authorities in this screening initiative across the nation since the beginning. Pure Health has been conducting COVID-19 tests in more than 15 collection centres and two processing locations in the UAE,” he added.
Abu Dhabi Airports was among the first airport groups to implement a comprehensive testing regime across its facilities. Today, following the introduction of other advanced new technologies including touchless elevator controls, sterilisation robots, thermal cameras equipped with artificial intelligence (AI), and self-cleaning escalator handrails, Abu Dhabi International Airport is supporting the gradual resumption of commercial flights from the UAE’s capital.