Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi offers free COVID-19 tests for residents in high density areas

People wearing protective face masks wait to be tested, amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Reuters)

Abu Dhabi’s department of health started providing coronavirus tests free of charge in multiple high-density complexes, the emirate’s media office said on Saturday.

“This comes as part of the intensified testing strategy, which is considered the most effective way to reduce the spread of the virus and maintain public health,” Abu Dhabi Media Office said.

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Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, had previously ordered in mid-May that coronavirus tests be made available for free for UAE citizens and certain segments of the community including: domestic workers, people with disabilities, pregnant women, resident who are over 50 years of age, people who came into contact with COVID-19 patients, and people who show coronavirus symptoms.

Abu Dhabi’s department of health had said on May 3, that the COVID-19 test was available to the wider members of the community for a cost of 370 dirhams ($100).

The UAE’s health authorities have recently ramped up screening for coronavirus, conducting tens of thousands of tests every day, and surpassed two million COVID-19 tests in total.

The spokesperson for the UAE’s health sector, Dr. Farida al-Hosani said on Saturday that the coronavirus pandemic necessitates adopting a “new lifestyle” based on precautionary health measures and social distancing.

“We are living through a new stage that requires us to adopt a new lifestyle based on adherence to precautionary measures and following medical advice to limit the chances of COVID-19 infection,” al-Hosani said.

“This can be done through practicing social distancing, regular sterilization, wearing face masks when leaving the home. This stage also requires increased caution among high risk groups, especially those suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes, blood pressure, asthma and respiratory and heart diseases.”

There are 33,896 confirmed coronavirus cases in the UAE, 17,546 recoveries and 262 deaths as of Saturday, according to the Ministry of Health.

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Last Update: Sunday, 31 May 2020 KSA 07:16 - GMT 04:16
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