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UAE opens drive-through coronavirus testing site

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The United Arab Emirates has launched a drive-through coronavirus testing facility as part of the Gulf state’s efforts to fight the disease, the Abu Dhabi government’s media office announced.

The facility, inaugurated by Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, will provide safe screenings within five minutes, using state-of-the-art equipment and a highly-qualified medical team, it said.

“A new drive-through testing facility for COVID-19 has launched … to offer safe testing procedures,” the office said on Twitter Saturday.

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 government media office said people should book an appointment in advance. Tests “for the wider community for reassurance only” would cost 370 dirhams ($100), according to government advice on Twitter.

The UAE, which has 468 officially declared COVID-19 cases, including two deaths, has imposed restrictions on night movements and taken steps to sanitise 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.

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