UAE has slashed the Covid-19 PCR testing to AED 50. This will be the standard rate at all medical facilities in the country, according to the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA). Results of these tests must be released within 24 hours.
Till date, the cost of taking the nasal swab test varied depending on which emirate one would get the test. While in Abu Dhabi the cost of getting a PCR test was fixed at Dh65 in March this year, hospitals, drive-thru centres and clinics in Dubai were charging Dh135 for tests that give results in 24 hours and Dh150 for fast-track options. In the Northern Emirates, the price of the test was hovering around Dh100.
Starting today, however, the Dh50 rate will apply and the Ministry of Health and Prevention will be monitoring compliance at health establishments.
With daily Covid-19 cases steadily going down, authorities in the UAE have relaxed some safety rules and increased operating capacities of most public spaces. At the same time, vaccination and routine PCR tests have been made mandatory in some places and key sectors.
For employees who are required to get screened regularly, a more affordable PCT test comes as a relief.
Dubai resident Thahir, who regularly takes the test to travel to Abu Dhabi for work, said: “This is a great move as I would literally travel to the Northern Emirates every other week just to get a cheaper PCR test done. My travel time had almost doubled this way as I would go to Ajman or Sharjah to take the test, and then go to Abu Dhabi for work. At least now, I can get the test done near my residence at a much cheaper rate.”
Another resident Shakir, who has an upcoming surgery next week, said he was asked to get a negative PCR test before the operation. So he had been scanning the Internet for the cheapest option. “I have to shell out a big amount for my surgery and on top of it I am required to get a PCR test done. I am so glad the government has standardised and slashed the PCR rates and now I can simply get the test done from anywhere,” said Shakir.