swab test, swab sample, covid-19 in uae, drive-through screening center
A paramedic staff collects swab samples at a coronavirus drive-through screening center by Dubai Health Authority at Al Nasr Club in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: In an effort to limit the coronavirus outbreak, Abu Dhabi will now test residents for coronavirus at their homes.

pc小群正规群An announcement today (June 17) by the emirate’s public health provider, the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), said the screenings, which are part of the National Screening Programme for COVID-19, will be offered across a number of residential areas.

pc小群正规群The aim is to provide residents with easy access to healthcare. As a result of this initiative, vulnerable residents and the elderly will not have to visit screening centres.

Testing will take place between 10am and 6pm.

As of Tuesday, June 16, Abu Dhabi had tested more than 388,000 people for COVID-19, the Abu Dhabi Media Office announced yesterday (June 16). The screenings were undertaken in the two weeks since June 2, when movement restrictions first came into effect.

Yesterday, authorities extended the restrictions for another week. This means that entry into the emirate, and within its three regions of Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Al Dhafrah, still has to be approved via a movement permit from Abu Dhabi Police. However, for the first time in two weeks, those who wish to travel out of Abu Dhabi can do so without a permit.

The UAE has one of the highest coronavirus screening rates worldwide, and more than 2.5 people had already been tested across the country by June 8. The mass test-trace-treat effort has, in recent days, shown major gains in controlling the outbreak, with recoveries exceeding new infection cases for multiple days in a row. The total number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 in the UAE – 28,861 – now also trumps the number of cases in recovery – 14,113.

pc小群正规群Abu Dhabi has previously offered home testing for people with disabilities. The initiative launched today means that these screenings will be expanded to include all residents in certain designated residential areas.

On the other hand, people living and working in industrial areas like Musaffah, or in certain densely populated residential neighbourhoods, have been taken to testing centres over the last two weeks in order to be screened. According to reports from residents, these tests have been conducted during the sterilisation period between 10pm and 6am.