UAE - A first-of-its-kind PCR testing that gives instant results is set to be launched at the Abu Dhabi International Airport (AUH).

Here’s how it works: Samples will be taken at an enclosed area from passengers flying in from abroad and, as they go through the immigration process and collect their baggage, the test results will be provided in 30 minutes.

There will also be a world-class waiting hall, with comfortable seating areas, separate sofas for families, a vending machine, television sets and toilets, and more importantly, a PCR result collection point.

Dr Partha Protim Banerjee, CEO of patient management for the project, said the initiative is aimed at identifying Covid-19 positive cases, containing the spread of the infection, and making Abu Dhabi completely secure for everyone.

“The level of vision, thinking, planning and implementation of this initiative is exemplary. The entire world should notice the dedication and commitment of the Abu Dhabi Government. I think this is the first such initiative at any airport in the world,” Dr Banerjee told Khaleej Times.

In less than 30 days, the Capital was able to set up the testing facility outside Terminal 3 of AUH. With this hub, arriving passengers won’t have to wait longer than 30 minutes to get their PCR test results.

“This is a proud accomplishment for the UAE and Abu Dhabi,” said Dr Partha Protim Banerjee, CEO of the patient management for the project.

“(The process) is impeccably organised — from collection of samples of arrival to proving the result and the quarantine and isolation process afterwards," said Dr Banerjee, who is also the CEO of MediQ Healthcare.

“Once the sample is collected, passengers will be given a bar code and they will then move to the waiting area where they need to spend a maximum of 30 minutes until their number is called. The entire process may take 75 to 90 minutes.”

Up to 20 staff members will be on duty for every shift. Multiple layers of staff from different nationalities will cater to the passengers from around the world, he added. All samples shall be tested at a highly secure on-site lab.

Dr Banerjee noted that Pure Health and Tamouh Health Care — along with the airport, the Supreme Council for National Security, the Department of Health, Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), Abu Dhabi Police, International Holdings Company, and other departments and agencies, and other private companies — have all worked together for the initiative’s success.

Well-designed area

The dedicated passageway leading to the waiting hall was also carefully thought out. Lining the walkway are posters depicting the history of Abu Dhabi — the old passport office, the airport, the first road at Qasr Al Hosn, and priceless memories of the UAE’s visionary Founding Father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

“The entire structure has been aesthetically designed,” Dr Banerjee said.

“The real-time PCR tests will be done elaborately and quickly in the lab. We have ensured smooth logistics inside and outside the airport. There are ambulances and transportation facilities. Passengers will be taken to quarantine facilities from here. If anyone tests positive, they will be provided immediate treatment at the isolation centres.”

The latest project is yet another statement of intent by the Abu Dhabi Government to contain the pandemic. The door-to-door testing continues in the city and is extended to densely populated areas, too.


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