A non-healthtech startup has become the first of its kind to offer on-demand polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Abu Dhabi-based, Rizek, which specialises in booking personal and home services – such as DIY, tutoring, and beauty and wellness – has now added coronavirus testing to its roster of services.
While on-demand, at-home PCR testing has been available for some time on healthcare-specific apps and portals, this is the first time a “general services” app in the region offers fully government-approved testing.
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WHY IT MATTERS
With travel opening up across the GCC, residents are keen to find solutions for testing that are quick, convenient and competitive. The move by Rizek could pave the way for more companies in the region to incorporate health offerings into their own general service products.
According to the company, “Rizek is the first application in the region to offer COVID-19 PCR testing from home, licensed by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Department of Health (DOH).
“All tests are approved by local and international health authorities for Abu Dhabi entry and international travel.”
Conducted as a nasal swab, the PCR test is carried out at the user’s chosen location by “trained medical professionals, fully geared in PPE coveralls, gloves, and masks”.
Test results – which are fully accredited for international travel or entry into Abu Dhabi, depending on the option chosen – are shared within 24-48 hours via the user’s registered email address. An eight-hour “express service” is also reportedly available.
At present, most UAE airlines require proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to being allowed to board. Travellers are advised to take a COVID-19 PCR test no more than 96 hours before departure and present the printed test result certificate at check-in.
ON THE RECORD
“Rizek has been consistently pioneering solutions to help fight the pandemic and was the first platform to launch on-demand sanitisation services,” explained Rizek founder and CEO, Abdallah Abu Sheikh. “We also offered free disinfection services for labour camps and have now added at-home PCR to the list of healthcare and wellbeing services being already provided.
“We look forward to continuously serving the UAE community in line with the vision of the UAE’s exemplary leadership, with a hope for a healthier and stronger society.”