A special repatriation flight of Air Arabia chartered by Joy Alukkas for the jewellery group’s employees and their family members flew  home 143 adults, 25 children and 6 infants from Sharjah to Kochi in Kerala after they cleared rapid tests for COVID-19 on Monday night. A top official on Wednesday clarified that Kerala’s new rule mandating COVID-19 test for all passengers getting repatriated to the state from abroad would not impact those from the UAE as they already undergo rapid antibody tests.
UAE-bound passengers must take COVID-19 tests in authorised Pure Health labs before their departure Image Credit: For illustrative purpose only

Abu Dhabi: Passengers travelling to the UAE can register to get tested for COVID-19 in their home countries through an approved network of laboratory facilities through an online system, thanks to a partnership between laboratory major Pure Health and UAE’s Federal Authority for Identity and Citizenship (FAIC).

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In a press statement issued on Thrusday, the lab operator, which has over 500 accredited laboratories in 40 countries, said the service can be booked easily through the web portal of Pure Health which has provided the list of the approved labs in each country. The incoming passengers to the UAE from any of the empanelled countries can register for the screening (after they have been informed to do so during the government application process) simply by entering their details, selecting their country, city and preferred laboratory on the portal. Their results are then shared with the FAIC through the shared portal. The applicants will then receive feedback from the FAIC regarding their application.

Pramodh B.N, Head of Commercial Operations at Pure Health, said, “We have facilitated the COVID-19 screening in these countries for the incoming passengers, who can book an appointment at the listed, accredited labs that are accepted by relevant health authorities. We have initiated the online system in place for implementing the project. The portal enables passengers to register and avail the service and it also enables the laboratories to update and report the results to the authorities concerned in the UAE.”

1,000 labs

“Currently, we are working hard to add more countries and labs across the world and we look to achieve coverage in 60 countries and 1,000 laboratories in the short term. We advise the UAE residents and visitors to follow sensible guidance to prepare when they are planning their trip to the country and reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 while this outbreak is ongoing,” he added.

He said it is important to mention that Pure Health’s online portal must be used for booking and paying for the laboratory services. This will ensure that the UAE government receives the information that the passenger has conducted the test from the approved lab. Passengers need to ensure that they carry the Pure Health result certificate for their travel as that’s the only certificate, which will be accepted by the airlines flying to the UAE. The passenger cannot use a certificate issued by the lab directly to them.

If they have not received the Pure Health certificate by email after completing the test, the passengers must follow up with the lab, where they gave the test to ensure the passengers’ result is issued on Pure Health portal. The Pure Health certificate will be sent to them once they complete the test and they will receive it to their registered email on the portal. The passengers, who do not go through the portal, will not have their test result shared with the UAE authorities.

“In line with the nationwide efforts to conduct proactive COVID-19 screenings, we have been collaborating with the UAE healthcare regulators in the nation’s fight against the pandemic since its outspread. The company is continuously building capacity in its labs and is ready to support the authorities with large volumes of passengers arriving in the UAE,” Pramodh added.

Pure Health has the largest COVID-19 testing capability in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia with the capacity to perform 80,000 RT-PCR tests and 110,000 laboratory-based antibody tests daily. The company is a pioneering healthcare solutions provider and the largest laboratory network in the entire Gulf region with 118 labs and employing over 1000 healthcare professionals across the nation.