Travelers wishing to visit the United Arab Emirates capital Abu Dhabi amid the ongoing lockdown can undergo a rapid COVID-19 laser screening upon arrival, the emirate’s media office announced on Tuesday.
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“The laser-based DPI technique can detect virus-caused inflammation in blood samples within seconds,” the office said in a Twitter statement.
Those with a negative result will be allowed entry into Abu Dhabi. Individuals who test positive must undergo further testing though a PCR nose swab test to confirm the source of the inflammation and are required to self-isolate until results are available.
The new testing method is located at the Saih Ash Saheib Police Station in Ghantoot area between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, according to Abu Dhabi's SEHA.
Travellers to the Emirate of Abu Dhabi can be screened for COVID-19 upon entry by a laser-based DPI technique. A negative result will allow entry to #AbuDhabi, while a positive result will lead to further testing through a PCR test. pic.twitter.com/2XiVVqgNNP— مكتب أبوظبي الإعلامي (@admediaoffice) July 13, 2020
The UAE developed this rapid laser technology in May as part of the country’s efforts in expanding its testing capacity. The diffractive phase interferometry (DPI) technique reportedly can detect the coronavirus as soon as it enters the blood cells, according to official news agency WAM.
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“This device will help limit the number of individuals undergoing the PCR test as it identifies COVID-19 cases,” according to the Abu Dhabi Media Office.
Despite this new option, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee and the Department of Health urge travelers to “plan ahead and undergo tests in advance as much as possible to avoid potential delays.”
The capital first banned entry and exit on June 2 as part of its measures to contain the virus. Individuals are allowed to leave the emirate but must present a negative coronavirus test result in order to be granted entry.