Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi implements laser screening for entry amid COVID-19 lockdown

Emirati security forces man a checkpoint at the entrance of Abu Dhabi, on June 2, 2020, after authorities cordoned off the emirate to rein in the coronavirus. (AFP)

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.


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.

Read more:

UAE bans movement in, out of Abu Dhabi as lockdown tightened

Abu Dhabi allows entry with new rules amid coronavirus lockdown: All you need to know

UAE develops rapid laser technology for virus detection

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Last Update: Tuesday, 14 July 2020 KSA 15:33 - GMT 12:33
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