UAE opens drive-through coronavirus testing site

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 30 2020 07:58 AM

UAE opens drive-through coronavirus testing site 1
A man wearing a protective mask following an outbreak of coronavirus walks at Global Village in Dubai, UAE, March 10, 2020. Picture taken March 10, 2020. Satish Kumar, Reuters

DUBAI - The United Arab Emirates said it has launched a drive-through coronavirus testing facility as part of the Gulf state's efforts to fight the disease.

The facility, inaugurated by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, will provide screenings within 5 minutes, using state-of-the-art equipment and a medical team, the Abu Dhabi government's media office said. 

"A new drive-through testing facility for COVID-19 has launched ... to offer safe testing procedures," the office said Saturday on Twitter.

According to official state news agency WAM, the facility can serve 600 people a day, with priority given to senior citizens, pregnant women and those with chronic illnesses.

The media office said people should book an appointment in advance.

Tests "for the wider community for reassurance only" would cost 370 dirhams, according to government advice on Twitter.

The UAE, which on Sunday had 570 officially declared COVID-19 cases, including three deaths, has imposed restrictions on night movements and taken steps to sanitize outdoor areas and public transport.

The Gulf state has halted passenger flights, closed its borders to foreigners and asked people to go outdoors only if necessary.

UAE Attorney General Hamad Saif al-Shamsi has issued a list of fines ranging from $272 to $13,600 for those violating regulations imposed to contain the virus.

© Agence France-Presse