Emirates airline has begun administering coronavirus antibody blood tests on passengers before they board its flights at Dubai International Airport, according to a report.
The airline claims to be the world’s first carrier to conduct such rapid blood tests, the first of which took place Wednesday on passengers boarding a flight to Tunisia.
The results of the tests, which were conducted by the Dubai Health Authority, were available within 10 minutes.
“We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights,” airline chief operating officer Adel Al Redha told CNN in a statement.
“This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers traveling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates,” he added.
Emirates has not indicated whether passengers would be refused boarding based on the results of the serology tests.
The tests — which aren’t meant to diagnose active infections — check for antibodies, or proteins, in the immune system. Their presence means a person has been exposed to the virus and developed antibodies against it.
Meanwhile, Etihad Airways, also in the United Arab Emirates, has announced that self-service kiosks will be set up at its airport in Abu Dhabi to help identify travelers with medical conditions, possibly including the early stages of COVID-19, according to CNN.
The technology is designed to monitor a passenger’s temperature, heart rate and respiratory rate.