Dubai Airport opens largest in-house COVID-19 PCR testing lab processing 100,000 samples a day

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Dubai took a major step in its efforts to further enhance safe international travel while accelerating the recovery of the travel sector on Tuesday with the official opening of one of the world's largest and most modern inhouse airport labs for processing of COVID-19 RT PCR tests at Dubai International (DXB).

The outcome of a close cooperation between Dubai Airports, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Pure Health, the state-of-the-art laboratory was inaugurated by Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai Airports.

Located close to Terminal 2, the 20,000 square-foot laboratory is a dedicated facility for round the clock processing of RT-PCR test samples collected from passengers at DXB. Using latest WHO-standard COVID-19 RT-PCR testing equipment, the lab can process up to 100,000 samples per day and provide reliable results within a few hours.

The lab is equipped with negative and positive pressure rooms and is linked to government reporting platforms ensuring secure and easy sharing of information between health and regulatory authorities and airlines.

 Describing the opening of the lab, which follows close on the heels of the announcement of the reopening of Terminal 1 and Concourse D after 15-months, as part of the preparations at DXB, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum said, "The lab is a fine demonstration of Dubai's collaborative approach to tackling complex challenges and achieving great results."

He added, "The drastic change in travel norms and the introduction of travel protocols including PCR testing have changed the airport experience of travellers around the world.

As the world's busiest international hub preparing for a surge in passenger traffic over the summer holidays and beyond, we were keen to make sure that the airport journey is safer, smoother and faster while fulfilling the required health protocols.

The lab's quick turnaround for processing test results will go a long way in helping us deliver a service experience the world expects from Dubai."

For his part, Awad Saghir Al Ketbi, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), praised the laboratory's capabilities and capacity, and its readiness for managing the processing of Covid-19 PCR tests.

He stressed that the laboratory's capabilities will greatly help reduce waiting times for passengers arriving into Dubai and enable the effective implementation of relevant preventive and safety procedures.

Al Ketbi noted DHA's keenness in expanding the lab's scope considering that the presence of an inhouse processing facility at DXB would enhance monitoring, investigation and proactive preventive steps taken by the Emirate of Dubai, as part of the measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Farhan Malik, Group CEO of Pure Health said, "Pure Health is proud to be an entrusted partner of the UAE to support this initiative.

As the largest lab operator in the country and an established healthcare provider, we are aiming to secure the safety of this nation's citizens, residents and visitors by contributing to a new standard of healthcare that benefits the people and communities around us.

Since the start of the pandemic we have continuously worked with the UAE government to bring the best testing solutions, following international quality standards and faster result reporting, to ensure we support our partners in this very dynamic environment."

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