Al Hosn green pass: Demand for RT-PCR tests surges in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi residents will have to undertake a RT-PCR test at least once a month

  
A member of medical staff wearing a protective face mask and gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 30, 2020. Image for illustrative purposes.

A member of medical staff wearing a protective face mask and gloves takes a swab from a man during drive-thru coronavirus disease testing (COVID-19) at a screening centre in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates March 30, 2020. Image for illustrative purposes.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
The demand for RT-PCR tests has gone up in Abu Dhabi after the emirate rolled out the Al Hosn ‘Green Pass’ protocol on Tuesday.

A negative test result ensures the green colour on the app which is required to enter public places in the Capital.

NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, registered an average 25 per cent rise in the number of screenings on Saturday and Sunday compared to the same days last week. While the count was 1,043 on June 5 and 1,067 on June 6, the figure rose to 1,317 on June 12 and 1,332 on June 13.

“With introduction of this new rule, the majority of residents in Abu Dhabi will have to undertake a RT-PCR test at least once a month. There has been an increase in the number of PCR tests mostly attributed to the new policy of the government,” said Dr Muhammed Ayoob, specialist pulmonary disease, NMC Specialty Hospital in Abu Dhabi.

VPS Healthcare noted a 20-per cent growth in the number of screenings on Sunday and Monday, compared to last week.

“This increase may be because of the new ‘green pass’ protocol, which will encourage everyone to go for regular screening as the country tries to normalise in a safe and healthy environment,” the spokesperson of VPS Healthcare said.

Bareen International Hospital in Mohamed Bin Zayed City conducted 3,547 PCR tests on Sunday - a 17-per cent rise compared to the previous Sunday. “We expect numbers to increase in the coming days. Generally, this will preserve and safeguard the health of the public and will speed up efforts to ensure a sustainable recovery from the pandemic,” said Dr Siddeg Fadul, specialist, family medicine at Bareen International Hospital.

Al Borg Medical Laboratories Group also confirmed an uptick testing. “There is an increase in the daily number of PCR testing requirements because of the new ‘green pass’ rule,” said Mohammed Zafar, country head, PHD and Al Borg Group of Laboratories.

An Ahalia Group representative said that the latest trend will soon become a norm. “Ever since the announcement of the ‘green pass’, we have witnessed an increase in the PCR testing at the majority of our hospitals and clinics across Abu Dhabi. We see this trend becoming a new norm as a person who is not fully vaccinated needs a negative PCR test result between 3 to 14 days,” said Sooraj Prabhakaran, manager, managing director’s office at Ahalia Group.

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