The Ministry of Health and Prevention has started testing antibodies to the COVID-19 in three affiliated laboratories run by Pure Health under a partnership agreement between the two parties.
The ministry will determine the people who will be subjected to antibody testing to be officially launched in June. The test will not only help people avoid being infected again and return to work normally but will also provide useful epidemiological information nationwide. The laboratories will be able to test more than 10,000 people a day.
Samia Al Balooshi, Laboratory Manager at Pure Health, affirmed that these laboratories are conveniently located in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi; a fourth laboratory would open soon in Abu Dhabi. In addition, several mobile laboratories were established from scratch at customer headquarters within the private sector, she added.
As far as the daily tests are concerned, Al Balooshi said: “We are testing 20,000 samples per day and are planning to increase the testing capacity to 40,000 samples per day by the end of June and 50,000 samples by the end of July.”
The laboratories are currently using molecular diagnostics through real-time chain reaction polymerization methodology, which represents a significant diagnostic tool for detecting COVID-19.
This testing methodology is the only one recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the US-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for accurately detecting COVID-19.
“The results of the tests are obtained within 24 to 48 hours and our focus is on quality and timely reporting. We have launched a mobile app that can be downloaded by anyone who has already undergone our COVID-19 test so that he can see the results of his test as soon as they appear. He can also visit our portal to view his results,” Al Balooshi said. This test detects the blood antibodies that are produced as an immune response to Covid-19 infection, she said, adding that it also identifies the people who overcame the infection in the past and developed an immune response to it.
These test results can also help determine those who can donate an amount of their blood under what is called as “recovery plasma,” which may be a potential way of treating people with serious COVID-19 symptoms, she said.