A team of researchers from Abu Dhabi Center for Public Health and the Institute of Public Health of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences of the United Arab Emirates University has examined the outcome of "COVID- 19 Mass Testing Program", which was implemented in the UAE, to control the spread of the infection and reduce the death toll. The study aimed to evaluate the testing program, which was implemented all over the country, and its impact on reducing the spread of the pandemic.
HE Dr. Farida Al Hosani Executive Director of Infection Diseases Sector in Abu Dhabi Public Health Center, Official Spokesperson for Health Sector in the UAE, said: “The adoption of technologies helped the country rapidly upgrade its testing capabilities and diagnostic methods. Some of the key success drivers of the UAE’s response to the pandemic include improving monitoring and early detection by expanding the number of surveillance team field medical teams, investing in laboratory capabilities to accelerate testing by adopting high quality labsand establishing drive-through centers across the country, the unified study with UAEU proofed this success.”
According to Dr. Eric Koornneeff, from the UAE University, who led the research, "the study sought to share the UAE's experience with the whole world to benefit from it". Dr. Marilia Silva Paulo, also from the UAE University, adds that “the open testing strategy impacted both the population health and the health systems capacity”. This study is just part of many other researches carried out by Abu Dhabi Public Health Center under the umbrella of the "COVID- 19 Research Committee", headed by Dr. Farida Al Hosani. This committee, which was formed upon the direction of the chairman of the Health Department at the beginning of this year, asserted on the vision of the wise leadership that scientific research allows countries to deal with the pandemic in an effective way.
The study concluded that despite the difficulty of analyzing the impact of all the measures which were set by the World Health Organization for governments to reduce the impact of epidemics; the implementation of the policy of mass testing which was conducted by the UAE was useful in containing the virus and reducing the death toll. This is the procedure that could not be applied by most of the countries due to the increased burden on their health systems. However, the UAE provided residents access to high quality and affordable health services and tests.