Abu Dhabi to introduce advanced scanners for mass COVID-19 screening at entry points

COVID-19 test for entering Abu Dhabi
Vehicles queue up at one of the COVID-19 test centres at an entry point to Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi is set to introduce a series of advanced scanners in designated areas to immediately detect potential cases of COVID-19 infection.

In the pilot phase, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee has approved the scanners to be used at the emirate’s borders for entry. They will also be installed at the entrance to certain public venues on Yas Island and at designated points to enter or exit the Musaffah area.

Enhance existing measures

In a statement issued by the Abu Dhabi Media Office on Wednesday, the Committee said the scanners will enhance existing precautionary measures, with no changes to existing protocol. The scanners are effective for mass screening purposes, it added.

Free follow-up PCR tests

If the scanner identifies a person as not infected, he or she will be permitted to enter from the specific point. On the other hand, if someone is shown to be infected, the individual will be asked to undergo a follow-up PCR test within the next 24 hours, with the test being provided free of charge.

Last year, Abu Dhabi approved the use of the rapid DPI test to screen for COVID-19 infection at the emirate’s borders. The testing solution helped indicate potential COVID-19 cases, with results being generated within five minutes.

Rise in cases

During a media briefing by the National Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Management Authority on Tuesday, officials said the UAE had seen a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases after Eid Al Fitr due to a lack of compliance with the precautionary measures, including the organisation of large gatherings.

Abu Dhabi authorities therefore launched mass screening drives in Musaffah area and rolled out the Al Hosn Green Pass system on June 15 to ensure safe entry into the emirate’s public venues. Like the advanced scanners, the Green Pass system provides an added layer of protection to existing COVID-19 precautions such as wearing of masks and maintaining social distancing.