Photo used for illustrative purpose.
As part of ongoing efforts to effectively and successfully contain the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Government of Abu Dhabi has rolled out saliva testing for children to a second phase of schools in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
The steps were taken as part of the Department of Health and Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre’s strategic commitment to study and develop rapid testing methods that will supersede the COVID-19 nasal swab tests that may be uncomfortable for young school students and their families.
The saliva Polymerase-Chain-Reaction (SPCR) test is considered an innovative and reliable test, whose results are produced fast and accurately in a period ranging between 6 and 12 hours from the time of sample collection.
The Abu Dhabi Public Health Centre, in cooperation with the Department of Education and Knowledge and Biogenix Labs, a company of G42 Healthcare, completed phase one of saliva tests in October.
Saliva Polymerase-Chain-Reaction (SPCR) tests for COVID-19 were conducted in the Al Rabeeh School in Abu Dhabi for students between 4 and 12 years of age, after obtaining parental consent. During this phase, 447 saliva samples were collected, and the results of the collection and examination process were successfully verified.
The second phase has been launched across 25 schools in December with more than 2,000 students examined so far. This phase will continue to collect samples from students in private and charter schools across the Emirate selected by the health authorities as per the epidemiological needs of the investigation, and in coordination with the Department of Education and Knowledge.
Biogenix Labs is well-prepared to execute testing operations during the second phase and has the capacity to process 30,000 saliva Polymerase-Chain-Reaction (SPCR) tests per day.
The SPCR test has a high degree of accuracy and involves fewer steps, with saliva being collected in a sterile container that does not require special preservatives, temperature controls, or additional containers.
The guidebook, which is available on the DHA website, aims to provide parents with accurate, updated and reliable information on the best ways to keep themselves, families and communities safe. Dr Hend Al Awadhi stressed on parents, the importance of adhering to all health instructions issued by schools and detailed in the guidebook.
“The DHA dedicates this great achievement to the wise leadership of the UAE who always direct us to implement everything that achieves security, health and safety of community members.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention said on Friday that it conducted 129,558 additional COVID-19 tests over the past 24 hours, using state-of-the-art medical testing equipment.
They were followed up and monitored by the security men after the first stopped on the side of the road, then the other followed him.
The Ministry stressed in a statement on Tuesday that its aim to continue expanding the scope of testing nationwide to facilitate the early detection of coronavirus cases and carry out the necessary treatment.
According to the data updated by the health ministry at 8am, the active cases declined to 1,63,816. With the fresh cases, the total tally climbed to 3,42,02,202, while the death toll climbed to 4,55,068 with 356 fresh fatalities.