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EK starts rapid COVID testing before flight

EK starts rapid COVID testing before flight

Old Apr 16, 20, 1:42 am
  #1  
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EK starts rapid COVID testing before flight

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who was on this flight.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-before-flight

Emirates started testing passengers for Covid-19 before flying out of Dubai, in an effort to contain the spread of the pandemic.

Passengers on Wednesday’s flight to Tunisia underwent a blood test before departing Dubai, according to the statement sent by the airline. Results were available within 10 minutes.

The Gulf carrier said it was the first to conduct the rapid blood tests. It plans to extend the procedure to other flights, according to Chief Operating Officer Adel Al Redha. The move will provide immediate confirmation for passengers traveling to countries that require Covid-19 test certificates, he said.
While I think rapid testing will be critical to opening up the world, doing blood tests at the airport doesn't sound like the most appealing or practical of solutions unless Theranos makes a real comeback.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 2:14 am
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Originally Posted by extramileage View Post
I'd be curious to hear from anyone who was on this flight.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/artic...-before-flight



While I think rapid testing will be critical to opening up the world, doing blood tests at the airport doesn't sound like the most appealing or practical of solutions unless Theranos makes a real comeback.
Honestly right now, I dont see much of a choice. This is much better/simpler/socially distanced than grouping everyone and testing on arrival, like HK does right now.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 2:28 am
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It is totally impractical and unworkable in airports on a sustained basis. And Theranos can't make a comeback because it never was anything in the first place, other than a massive fraud.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 7:16 am
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
It is totally impractical and unworkable in airports on a sustained basis. And Theranos can't make a comeback because it never was anything in the first place, other than a massive fraud.
I agree. There might be infections of other types due to these tests.

Are these medical professionals conducting the tests or airport staff? If the latter, then its like asking a Graphics designer to fix a leaky sink.

Are the needles disinfected/single use?

I'd not choose to subject myself to blood test before I fly.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 7:20 am
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Interesting that at least there is a plausible solution. And Emirates have a workable and acceptably accurate more or less instantaneous test. Given the cost to the economy of closed borders, this seems like something that could be workable i.e. test at security as you go through the metal detector or scanner and prevent anyone boarding at the gate. Would reduce cases going accross borders by not 100% but maybe 80 - 90%. might be useful for countries like NZ and Australia (who could also test on arrival) who will have closed borders for the foreseeable with a massive economic hit, and social hit (split families etc)

we need clever solutions, maybe this is the way forward - it will make flying a hassle but we need mass testing anyway, this can be part of that
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Old Apr 16, 20, 9:31 am
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Some newspaper was reporting on this."The results of the tests take just 10 minutes, although the airline didn’t comment on their accuracy."
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Old Apr 16, 20, 9:38 am
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If it is a blood test, then it is most likely the antibody test with 80-90% accuracy (I heard most likely false negative instead of false positive).
However, antibody tests do not work for pre-symptomatic or early symptomatic cases when the patients do not produce any antibodies yet.
That's why we heard reports from some European countries that the "rapid test" ordered from China only had 30% accuracy.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 11:24 am
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If it is 100% accurate, it only tests that a person has been exposed to the virus. It does not tell you if the person currently has the virus. Normally over 200000 paxs pass through the airport each day. So maybe you can do 1 test in 10 minutes, but how long to do 10000+ paxs arr/dpt every hour?
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Old Apr 16, 20, 11:38 am
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If it is a rapid blood antibody test it should be like the Abbott test, which is just a pinprick.
As someone else noted it may miss the virus. I would think the nasopharyngeal swab would be a better test, but I don't know about availability.

What's ironic is that it seems other countries are finding other ways to use these things, while the US doesn't even have enough for basic screening needs.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 12:22 pm
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I hope Emirates can do the tests for those traveling First and Business class in the lounges so that passengers can continue sipping champagne while waiting for the results.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 12:27 pm
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Originally Posted by Longton View Post
I hope Emirates can do the tests for those traveling First and Business class in the lounges so that passengers can continue sipping champagne while waiting for the results.
They should do it before they let you into the lounge. Presuming they actually want the test to be meaningful.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 2:30 pm
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My understanding is this is a fingertip test for active infection administered by medical professionals.
This should be considered globally to restart the travel industry as presumably if your allowed to travel you wouldn't need 14 days of quarantine when you land.

near term this is our best best to get the industry back on its feet.

I for one hope it is quickly and widely adopted.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by glob99 View Post
Normally over 200000 paxs pass through the airport each day. So maybe you can do 1 test in 10 minutes, but how long to do 10000+ paxs arr/dpt every hour?
Theoretically it sounds like it could be doable. The test doesn't take 10 minutes sequentially for each passenger, instead the results will be available in 10 minutes so if it's a pinprick, dab, put to tester this might only be 15 seconds per pax. 400 pax per flight divided by 2 test stations means start boarding an hour early and the first results will be known in plenty of time, and the last 50 minutes later providing testing is being done in parallel.

It's only departing pax so the 200,000 goes down to 100,000 which divided by 400(pax per plane) = 250 departures (does that sound typical?). Two test facilities could do a departure per hour so 21 would cover it at max efficiency, three times that more likely to actually make it work.
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Old Apr 16, 20, 7:04 pm
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Originally Posted by ft101 View Post
Theoretically it sounds like it could be doable. The test doesn't take 10 minutes sequentially for each passenger, instead the results will be available in 10 minutes so if it's a pinprick, dab, put to tester this might only be 15 seconds per pax. 400 pax per flight divided by 2 test stations means start boarding an hour early and the first results will be known in plenty of time, and the last 50 minutes later providing testing is being done in parallel.

It's only departing pax so the 200,000 goes down to 100,000 which divided by 400(pax per plane) = 250 departures (does that sound typical?). Two test facilities could do a departure per hour so 21 would cover it at max efficiency, three times that more likely to actually make it work.
OK so lets say one pax is shown positive, does this mean that the whole fight is at risk , the whole airport ?
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Old Apr 16, 20, 7:22 pm
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This is pure theater. I have zero expectation that a quick test in an airport won't have massive false-positives and false-negatives. What recourse does a passenger have when a faulty test claims they have Coronavirus?
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