Stock covid testing DPI
Screening centre at the Ghantoot Rapid testing facility on Dubai-Abu Dhabi border. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Health Services Co (SEHA) has announced new reduced prices of Dh250 for PCR tests for COVID-19.

The new price, which comes down from Dh370, applies to all of SEHA's drive- through testing centres as well as their hospitals and clinics.

What is a PCR Test?

The RT-PCR (real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test is the most commonly used test for COVID-19. 

The screening itself is conducted via a nasal swab and the test is a real-time assessment to detect SARS-CoV-2 genetic material or RNA from a person’s upper and lower respiratory specimens.

In the laboratory, the technique combines reverse transcription of the RNA genetic material from the nasopharyngeal sample into DNA and amplifies these DNA targets using PCR. This amplification helps measure the amount of a specific virus RNA in the sample. In the case of COVID-19, the RNA being detected pertains to the novel coronavirus — SARS-CoV-2.

While there are other ways to test for COVID-19, the RT-PCR test remains the gold standard and the UAE has been one of the top-most countries in deploying them to screen for COVID-19. It has set up multiple drive-through screening centres across the country, all of which offer RT-PCR tests.