A nurse holds a vial and a swab at a drive-up coronavirus testing station. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Dubai and Sharjah residents can now have COVID-19 nasal swab tests done in the comfort of their own home after an initiative was launched last week for the first time in the UAE by Avivo health group.

Dr Atul Aundhekar, CEO of the group said, “We offer the Reverse Transcriptase Polyemrase Chain Reaction (rTPCR) test at home. This test is the gold standard diagnostic tool for COVID-19. We have a home car division and are licenced to send health care workers home on call. Many people are scared to venture out, including the elderly, those with children and determined people, for them it could be cumbersome to drive to a test centre.”

Charges are Dh400 per person and if there are a large group bookings, say to workers accommodation or workplaces, discounts are offered.

Results come back in 24 hours.

“There are two kinds of action required if the test result is positive,” said Dr Aundhekar. “If the individual is asymptomatic, as per guidelines, they can be quarantined at home. If for some reason like shared home space of lack of space, he or she is unable to home quarantine, then the individual can be shifted to an isolation centre in any of the hotels, being run by many hospitals. The mild symptom cases also have to be moved to such an isolation centre. Other than than, anyone with moderate, severe or critical symptoms is moved to a hospital as per the current protocol issued by the health authorities.”

The home test facility has received a very positive response from the community and already over 300 test bookings have been made since it was launched last week, added Dr Aundhekar.

To book call 050-291-9005 or 055-548-8911.