Coronavirus: UAE donation enables testing for over 200,000 Americans

Certified medical assistants conduct tests for COVID-19 at a drive-up testing station in the parking lot on April 6, 2020 in Las Vegas. (AFP)

The United Arab Emirates has made it possible for over 200,000 Americans to be tested for the novel coronavirus following a donation of COVID-19 testing kits worth up to $20 million.

Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed provided the large donation to the state of Nevada last month, according to the Los Angeles Times, which said the gesture enabled the opening of a major coronavirus testing center in the city of Las Vegas.

The UAE’s gift gave the University Medical Center in Vegas “a real shot in the arm,” former MGM executive Jim Murren, who chairs Nevada’s COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force, told the Los Angeles Times.

“Without the connection with the UAE, we might be in a different place,” Murren said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

The aid package from a fellow desert territory will also help reopen the state’s economy, according to Murren who said that “testing is an economic imperative.”

A man stands on his bicycle on the Las Vegas strip as the spread of COVID-19 continues, in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 10, 2020. (Reuters)

A man stands on his bicycle on the Las Vegas strip as the spread of COVID-19 continues, in Las Vegas, Nevada on April 10, 2020. (Reuters)

The Nevada COVID-19 task force announced April 18 a partnership with the UAE and Abu Dhabi-based technology company G42 to increase the state’s testing and research, according to UAE state news agency WAM.

The partnership enables Nevada “to fortify our ability to provide a safe and sustainable economy recovery for all,” Murren said in a statement to a local NBC station in Las Vegas.

The development of the first high-volume testing laboratory in Nevada will also be made possible because of the collaboration, according to WAM.

Nevada recorded 7,700 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, with 394 related deaths. The state has recently reported a decrease in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

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Last Update: Monday, 25 May 2020 KSA 17:10 - GMT 14:10
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