Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi mass tests workers after contact with COVID-19 patient

A worker is tested at the new COVID-19 testing facilities for workers at the Musafah industrial areas. (WAM)

Abu Dhabi authorities are testing workers who came into contact with a person with coronavirus at two new facilities set up as the UAE expands its COVID-19 testing program across the country.

Coronavirus cases in the UAE continue to rise, with 477 new cases on Friday bringing the total to 6,302 as of the same day. The rise in cases partly reflects an increased rate of detection due to the rollout of testing facilities.

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The two newest testing facilities in Abu Dhabi are testing blue-collar workers from the Musaraf industrial area, focusing on workers who had come into contact with a COVID-19 case, were over 50, or had preexisting health conditions, according to the UAE’s official WAM news agency on Saturday.

“The new facilities, which already started receiving visitors from yesterday, are aimed to ensure the safety of all those working in the industrial areas, including all nationalities, in order to ensure early detection of coronavirus and provide them with all necessary care,” said Director of Abu Dhabi Clinics Dr. Khloud Al Dhal’i.

The new facilities are open from 7.00 a.m. to 5.00. p.m. and include mobile clinics and ambulances in case patients need to be transferred to a hospital.

Workers queue at the new facility. (WAM)

Workers queue at the new facility. (WAM)

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The new mobile facility seen from outside. (WAM)

The new mobile facility seen from outside. (WAM)

UAE rolls out testing

The UAE has ramped up its testing program since late March.

Beginning with a drive-thru test center opened by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed on March 28, the country has now established similar drive-thru centers including in Fujairah, Al Ain, and several in Dubai.

The country has also established a massive testing laboratory, in coordination with genomics company BGI and Abu Dhabi technology company Group 42 (G42).

The country has also launched a home-testing service for people with disabilities.

The increase in testing means the UAE could flatten its curve – the number of new cases recorded daily – within two to three weeks, according Dr. Adil Sajwani, a family medicine doctor with the Ministry of Health and Prevention and a member of the national awareness team for COVID-19 in the UAE.

“We hope that we will contain the disease in the next two to three weeks,” Sajwani told Al Arabiya English. “But people are still going out, they’re still gathering, some are still having parties, so this is also a challenge. Containing or flattening the curve is a challenge.”

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Last Update: 06:57 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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