Drive-throughs provide the safest modes to undertake COVID-19 PCR tests. Image Credit: Supplied

Sharjah: A new COVID-19 drive-through facility has opened at the NMC Royal Hospital in Sharjah, and it is currently operating round-the-clock to help keep the community safe.

Since its opening on January 12, the facility has seen 300 cars every night. The hospital is currently conducting 10,000 tests per day – representing half its total capacity – with utilization increasing every day.

“Drive-throughs provide the safest modes to undertake COVID-19 PCR tests, as you are in the safe confines of your car along with family members. By interacting less with outsiders, you are reducing the risk of contracting other respiratory infections as well,” said Dr Mohammed Shabbir, head of department for Emergency Medicine at the hospital.

Meanwhile, another NMC Healthcare hospital – the Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi’s Mohamed Bin Zayed City – has also increased its PCR testing capacity to accommodate 4,000 cars per day. The hospital is also maintaining a reporting-turnaround time of less than 24 hours, with each car facing less than 15 minutes to undergo drive-through testing.

“Fighting the pandemic is a collaborative effort between the regulatory bodies, the private and government healthcare sectors, and the communities we serve. As our country reaches its goal of vaccinating the entire population, we hope to see the symptoms associated with the COVID-19 virus lessen. Yet, we need to always adhere to best practice protocols to keep our families and loved ones safe, and this includes rigorous testing,” said NMC Healthcare chief executive officer, Michael Davis.