An increased number of shoppers are visiting malls in Abu Dhabi after the authorities introduced COVID-19 scanners last week. Speaking to media, mall managers stated that the special scanners have helped in improving their business operations with enhanced convenience and ease for shoppers as they are assured that public spaces are Coronavirus-free.
On June 28, Abu Dhabi authorities rolled out the use of EDE COVID-19 scanners at shopping malls, select residential areas, and all land and air entry points across the emirate as part of the precautionary measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The EDE scanning technology measures electromagnetic waves in detecting any possible COVID-19 infection. The presence of RNA particles of Coronavirus in a person’s body help in providing an immediate result.
According to Abu Dhabi authorities, if the scanner identifies a person with potential COVID-19 infections, they will be stopped from entering the public premises. They will be asked to take a PCR test within 24 hours and follow other relevant protocols.
Melvin Mathew, marketing and communication department, Marina Mall, stated that using the new technology at the mall has enhanced their operations and strengthened the confidence of shoppers in the services offered.
“Things have been moving on well since the implementation of the EDE COVID-19 scanners at the mall. The shoppers are happy with the new initiative because it takes them a second or two to be scanned and gave access to the mall,” he said.
He stated that the mall received a significant number of EDE scanners from the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development which are being used at the entrances of the malls. The administration has also trained the security teams on how to use the new technology to monitor COVID-19 infection among visitors.
Mathew underlined that scanners have identified a few cases among shoppers who tested positive for COVID-19. He added that they were advised to immediately undergo PCR tests to confirm their infection status in order to start treatment.
Navaneeth Sudhakaran, general manager of Al Wahda Mall, lauded the help and convenience provided by EDE scanning technology in controlling the spread of the virus. Hailing the service rate of the technology, he said that the scanner takes only a few seconds to scan visitors for potential infection in order to avoid long queues at the entrances.
"If the scanner shows a negative result the customer is allowed to enter the mall. This gives shoppers confidence while shopping, knowing that everyone inside the mall is Covid-negative,” Sudhakaran said.
Bhupinder Singh, general manager and CFO of Dalma Mall, highlighted that the initiative has seen a positive response from everyone, including shoppers, shop operators and other stakeholders at the mall. Singh said that the new technology is quick, effective and convenient for shoppers.
"As long as their result is negative, they are allowed access to the mall,” he added.
Singh stated that the installation of EDE Covid-19 scanners at the mall has helped in promoting safety for all stakeholders and increased public confidence, allowing them to move around freely. He underlined a few COVID-19 positive cases have been detected by EDE scanners over the past week, adding that those visitors were immediately sent for PCR testing.
Mayank Pal, general manager of Khalidiyah Mall, said that no complaints have been received from shoppers about crowds or queues at entrances since the implementation of EDE scanners at the mall.
“It is really a very convenient technology and has helped improve our operations. Everyone is happy with these special Covid-19 scanners because they don’t have to wait in queues to get access to the mall,” said Pal.
Earlier, the Abu Dhabi Emergency, Crisis and Disasters Committee stated that the roll-out of EDE scanners has been expanded after a successful pilot phase. The Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) approved the expansion of EDE scanners after they proved effective and viable detectors of the Covid-19 virus.