Dubai: As part of relentless efforts to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, Dubai authorities are continuing to increase the provision of COVID-19 testing across government and private hospitals and drive-through centres. The emirate’s various testing facilities have completed a total of over 612, 000 COVID-19 tests as of 19 June, according to the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre.
Ensuring the widespread availability COVID-19 testing is part of an integrated plan to further curb the spread of the virus and offer immediate medical care to infected people at hospitals, accredited facilities and quarantine centres. Comprehensive measures undertaken by the emirate to fight COVID-19 and the concerted efforts of the public and private sector and the community over the past few months have helped Dubai achieve marked progress in curbing the spread of the virus.
Dr Hanan Al Suwaidi, Chair of Testing stream at the COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, said the increased provision of COVID-19 tests at government hospitals and healthcare centres and some dedicated private sector facilities is part of the UAE’s comprehensive plan to fully contain the pandemic. Expanded testing allows authorities to ensure early identification of COVID-19 cases and those who have come in contact with positive cases, and immediately isolate them, noted Dr Al Suwaidi. All patients are provided with the best medical care as per global standards and protocols adopted by the Ministry of Health and Prevention and Dubai Health Authority.
The bigger plan
Dr Al Suwaidi further explained that continued COVID-19 testing is part of an integrated strategy to contain the virus and offer timely and appropriate medical care. It also generates the data necessary for public health decision-making and helps authorities gain an accurate picture of the COVID-19 situation in the emirate. Such efforts are critical to support the work of various committees and help them develop appropriate plans to combat the virus. Continued testing also provides key inputs for scientific research on the transmission of the virus.
Dr Al Suwaidi stressed that members of the community should do COVID-19 tests at hospitals and laboratories accredited by the Dubai Health Authority to ensure accurate results. Precautionary measures followed by healthcare testing facilities ensure the safety of medical personnel and patients.
Citizens and residents have access to various testing facilities in Dubai including drive-through centres managed by the Dubai Health Authority and Abu Dhabi’s SEHA department. The DHA runs a drive-through testing centre at the Al Nasr Club, while SEHA operates a testing centre in Al Khawaneej, Port Rashid and another for citizens at City Walk. COVID-19 testing is also available at all Dubai government hospitals and many private sector hospitals as well as at Shabab Al Ahli Club. In addition, the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services offers home testing services.
samples per day tested for COVID-19 between January and May by DHA.
People eligible for a free COVID-19 test include those in high-risk categories such as pregnant women, elderly people and people with chronic conditions as well as UAE citizens, People of Determination and residents with COVID-19 symptoms and those who have been in contact with positive cases.
As part of its efforts to expand COVID-19 testing capacity, the DHA’s Laboratory Department raised its testing capacity from 300 samples per day to 3,000 per day in the period between January and May. The overall testing capacity in Dubai was also increased through cooperation with private sector laboratories, with the number of samples reaching up to 30,000 per day.
The COVID-19 Command and Control Centre emphasised that sustained implementation of precautionary measures and the public’s continued commitment to observing preventive guidelines in the period ahead are critical to fully contain the COVID-19 crisis.