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UAE opens drive-through coronavirus testing site

  • News Desk

    Agence France-Presse

Dubai, United Arab Emirates   /   Mon, March 30, 2020   /   12:37 pm
UAE opens drive-through coronavirus testing site A coronavirus drive-thru testing site is up and running at the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center on March 17, 2020 at Jones Beach State Park, New York.The United Arab Emirates said it has also launched a drive-through coronavirus testing facility on Saturday. (AFP/Getty Images/Al Bello)

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 five 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 (US$100), 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.