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Abu Dhabi to use facial scanners to detect Covid-19

The scanners will be used in shopping malls, some residential areas and all land and air entry points

According to a statement from the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee, facial scanners will play a key role in limiting Covid-19 transmission by establishing safe zones that are subject to a series of preventive procedures.

Developed by EDE Research Institute Abu Dhabi under the International Holding Company (IHC), the technology can detect a possible Covid-19 infection by measuring electromagnetic waves. These waves change when the RNA particles of the virus are present in the person’s body, therefore providing an immediate result.

If the scanner identifies a person as being potentially infected with Covid-19, they will not be permitted to enter and must follow the approved protocol and take a PCR test within 24 hours.

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Speaking about the planned rollout, Dr Jamal Mohammed Al Kaabi, undersecretary at Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “Abu Dhabi has adopted an integrated strategy to combat the Covid-19 pandemic, based on increased testing to ensure safe entry into the emirate, vaccination and the continued implementation of precautionary measures.”

A pilot trial by the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi was conducted at various locations in the emirate, including the Ghantout entry point, select public locations on Yas Island, and entry and exit points in the Musaffah area.

With more than 20,000 people tested, the results showed 93.5% sensitivity, reflecting the accuracy of identifying infected individuals, and 83% accuracy in the specificity of the test, reflecting the accuracy of identifying non-infected individuals.

Dr Al Kaabi added: “The use of the EDE scanning system reflects the leadership’s vision in harnessing modern technology to create solutions that turn challenges into opportunities. We are pleased to add EDE scanning technology made in Abu Dhabi to the precautionary measures, helping to create safer areas and maintain public health. The EDE scanners will be used alongside other approved testing methods, such as PCR and DPI.”

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