UAE: Weekly PCR tests for Dubai school staff, bi-weekly COVID-19 test for Sharjah school staff

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Dubai: Starting Sunday, April 11, all staff members including teachers at Dubai schools, universities, early learning centres, and training institutes in Dubai will have to take PCR test every seven days, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) said on Wednesday. This will only apply to staff who choose not to vaccinate despite being eligible candidates for getting the approved COVID-19 vaccines in distribution. 

Private school pupils in Sharjah will also return to campus starting today [Sunday]. However, pupils older than 12 who opt for on-campus classes will have to submit a negative PCR test result before sitting for classes. This is as per a circular by Sharjah Private Education Authority (SPEA) released on Tuesday.

SPEA had also said earlier this year that all staff in Sharjah private schools, except those who received two doses of the vaccination, would have to undergo PCR testing every 14 days.

This is not limited to the education sector. On March 22, the Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MOHRE) announced that unvaccinated workers in five economic activities need to take a PCR test every 14 days, effective from March 28.

Exemptions

The only employees exempt from PCR testing by these organisations are those individuals who are not eligible to take the vaccine. Those eligible for vaccination, including citizens and residents aged 16 and above, can now get inoculated for free in any of the 205 vaccination locations available nationwide.

Pregnant women or lactating mothers, or women planning pregnancy should not take the vaccine, according to the UAE health authorities. People who are allergic to any of the components of the vaccine are also ineligible. In addition to this, individuals with certain conditions may be considered ineligible for vaccinations based on the medical team’s report.

Where can I take the test?

You can get a PCR test done at any of the SEHA (Abu Dhabi Health Services Company) centres across UAE for Dh65.

How can I get the vaccine?

All UAE residents, aged 16 and above, can now get vaccinated in the UAE for free. If you have queries related to the COVID-19 vaccine, here is a list of all the frequently asked questions which health authorities have answered in the past few months.

As of now, over 8.9 million vaccination doses have been distributed among UAE residents. The four approved vaccines for use in the UAE are produced respectively by Sinopharm, Pfizer-BioNTech, Sputnik V and Oxford-AstraZeneca.

In a historic move in the global fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, UAE has already begun manufacturing Hayat-Vax, the locally-produced inactivated COVID-19 vaccine in the country. The vaccine, called Hayat-Vax [Hayat means life in Arabic], is the first indigenous COVID-19 vaccine in the region that will be manufactured by a newly created joint venture between Sinopharm CNBG

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