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Emirates Airline Begins Conducting Rapid COVID-19 Tests For Boarding Passengers

In a move that could be a step toward making air travel palatable to the public again, Emirates Airline has begun conducing rapid-on site COVID-19 for passengers. The testing began with passengers on a flight from Dubai to Tunisia on Wednesday. The analysis is a blood test with results within 10 minutes. The airline says it is the first to roll out rapid testing. Emirates says it is working to scale up testing capabilities and extend it to other flights. It says its testing could also be used to… ( More...

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Geoff Cannon 8
At least its a good start naysayers and heaven forbid it may help develop a reliable pin prick instant test. I am happy to do whatever it takes to get the world moving again.
Martin Hall 12
Will be Interesting to know what happens if it’s a positive test
Louis Drapeau 2
That was also my concern. I'm willing to fly, you don't want to take me and warn me at the last minute, you will have to reimburse me 100%, at least that's the way I see it.
Marco Godoy 12
Dear passengers, please present yourself at the airport 6-8 hours before your 4-hour flight.
sadly, a likely scenario
stevehickman 8
No matter how good these tests become, they can only detect what is in the sample taken. If someone is in the early stages of the disease, viral components may not have permeated their blood stream to the point where those components will show up in the sample taken. These are point in time tests only . They can only state that the person had no detectable infection at the time the sample was taken. They cannot say the person is disease free. Particularly on long flights, it is possible that someone has no detectable infection at the beginning and is severely sick before the flight is over.

To be truly effective, you would have to first test someone and determine that they had no detectable infection, then quarantine them long enough to allow any undetectable infection to manifest, then test them again to check for a detectable infection (without breaking their quarantine).

The issues raised by others about contaminated surfaces remain.

Don't think this can be hidden from the public. They will eventually figure it out, if only when someone mysteriously gets sick despite this testing precaution. If the public is not told the truth up front, there will be a huge deficit of trust that will make it increasingly hard to win back potential customers. Further, if companies like Emirates attempt to plead that they are doing the best that they know how, customers will find that a cold comfort. The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Does anyone remember the Tylenol scare from 1982 ( That kind of leadership is what companies need to weather this crisis.
Dale Ballok 4
Just a sign of the times.
Post 9/11 we’re dealing with increased security measures.
Now we’re going to have to deal with increased sanitation, sterilization, and personal protection.
Good decision. Hopefully other airlines will follow suit.
Well, it sounds good, BUT are their tests better than ours because we have a false negative rate of 30%. Certainly, it will pick up a few asymptomatic people (2 reports now from T Roosevelt and Wuhan are showing far more asymptomatic cases than sick patients)

I get it that they need to do something to get passengers back on planes. Sadly, until there is an effective vaccine, a cure and/or a decent screening test I don't see things changing a whole lot.
paresh shah 3
Peter Blake 5
This may make passengers feel a little safer but its a false security. Even if the passenger is not infected, the virus may still be on the hands, clothes and baggage.
Chip Hermes 9
You can wash your hands, but you can't stop people from breathing. This test solves the second problem.
Simon Flyer 6
So as the entire world struggles to create a reliable test, when it takes several hours to get the results upon arrival in Hong Kong and Korea has it nearly down to 20 minutes, Emirates have suddenly a 2 minute solution?

I suspect that Emirates/UAE purchased the same useless Chinese pinprick tests that the NHS in the UK did before realizing they were unreliable and that they had been scammed out of £20 million...
Iain Girling 1
It would sound that way. After all an unreliable test is much worse than no test at all.
KoolerKT 4
wash your hands a lot and cover your mouth. use common sense.
Manoj Ashokan 4
Rapid covid tests may not be accurate,as there might me false +ve or false -ve tests results.It cant be used as a criteria for safe travel.
ynot ssor 2
The article didn't even say what the test examines. Monoclonal proteins? Antibodies? Enquiring minds would like to know.
may as well give your fingerprints at the same time. #fbidnadatabase
El Kabong 7
This just adds one more level of suck to the air travel experience.
Bruce Atkinson -2
Stay home.
When you give your blood, you are giving your DNA to the guvmint
Andrew Bunker 2
What sucks is not being able to travel so every little helps!
The same flight seat distance shall be maintained. Social distance.
Secondly for long flights bath room shall be sanitised after enter each person by automatically.
WhiteKnight77 1
While this might be a step in the right direction as far as trying to ensure that people are virus free, the issue we have in the US is that people would not stand to not bring carry-on luggage onboard the plane and thus having to pay a checked baggage fee. Would people here in The States actually check their bags?
kwanfam 1
The antibody tests will get better, but the best still has 5% error rate
jhakunti 1
I think airlines could also reduce the number of seats in planes to allow better distancing for health concerns because before all this, i got sick once because the person next to me on a DEN-SFO flight was sick.
Louis Drapeau 1
I also think that the immune system is more "penetrable" at lower air pressures. So for example at sea level you may not get infected but with the same exposure at 5000 ASL you could be. This could also explain why so many people that flew had the virus.
Justthefacs -1
We are burning down the house to put out the fire. I really wonder what governments responses would be if it weren't for the pressure of social media to do something. We are making rock stars of bureaucrats and back office people. One person dies every 11.4 seconds in the US, most from heart disease. Stay at home, close health clubs and gyms, get fat and die. Raw numbers are meaningless. Put percentages to them and you have a realistic look at the crisis.
darjr26 14
Would you rather be on a plane with someone that has a heart attack or someone that has the corona virus?
Todd Eagle 3
Yeah. Except I can't catch a heart attack from some who exhibits heart attack-like symptoms.

Or pre-symptomatic heart attack victims for that matter.
kwanfam 1
The death rate and hospitalization rate is about 1 in 10,000 to 20,000 of the population, but the reports of serious post-infection rates are still unknown and include potential weakened cardiovascular, neural function, pulmonary function,and infertility in males. Not ready to take that chance of going back normal before N95 masks, safe effective treatment or vaccine is readily available.
david Knight 0
You are so very right Just so very right, the world has truly gone mad over this whole thing, our governments have effectively destroyed the entire global economy!
Rock Stars? yes your right, at this moment in time they are but lets see what history has to say about this bunch of megalomaniacs that have changed the whole social fabric of the world as we knew it, time will tell
Bruce Atkinson -2
Yet, Trump is vilified for being cautious on opening the economy.
Bruce, you're joking, right?
How come every conversation turns into a TRUMP blame game. Get real people !
that's what happens when a lunatic is running this freak show
Emirates Airline Conducting Rapid COVID-19 Tests HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH HIM ffs
Louis Drapeau -3
As of today, April-17-2020, covid, in it's peek month, will kill about half of what heart disease kills in a month. To put things in perspective, in the next 2 years covid will kill about 135 000 in the US (this is my best estimate - the only way to validate it is to check back in two years) and heart disease just over 1.4M, so heart disease kills about 10 times more than covid.
darjr26 6
Heart disease is both preventable and treatable. So far the only effective way to treat the virus is isolation. Three months ago no one in the USA had died from this virus, now almost 40,000 have. No one knows why one person dies from the virus while someone else with it has no symptoms. Medical professionals seem very concerned about this virus and I think we need to listen to them. Comparing the virus to a heart attack is both dangerous and disingenuous.
Dale Ballok 3
Statistics are useless when discussing this issue.
For one, a lot of them are skewed, due to inconsistent facts.
Some are either over, or underestimated, sometimes to satisfy someone’s personal agenda.
Statistics don’t help cure the virus in any which-way, so regardless what numbers are presented, it’s all irrelevant to the problem!
Just tell me when it’s getting better and when we can return to normal activities.
The numbers for covid-19 vary a lot, but if nothing had been done it would have overwhelmed hospital capacity all over, not just New York City.

Here’s a dynamic graph that shows how this new virus stays under the radar and then suddenly explodes, surpassing heart disease very quickly.
Louis Drapeau 0
Hi, nice example, if you take today's peek numbers and multiply by 365 that won't give you the number of people that will die by covid in a year. So I agree with you that today, for one day, covid-19 is responsible for more deaths per day than heart disease.

But I don't see how covid could kill more than heart disease in a single year in the US. We were just caught off guard, now that we are aware, new cases are substantially going to drop and that will cause a drop in the number of deaths. I am willing to take a bet that total US deaths by covid by the end of 2020 will be lower than what heart disease will kill in three months. So I think it's obvious that heart disease will take more lives than covid.
Actually covid caused more mortalities than heart disease for several days in a row now, but I agree with your point that sooner or later the number of cases will drop, if simply because something is being done now. Somehow other countries were less caught off guard, there should be an analysis of what went wrong where.
Rob Palmer -3
Only way to fly today. Makes it safer on the plane, too. I, who used to work at FAA Hq in Washington, have been shocked in recent years by all the aircraft being manufactured, and wondered who needs all this production. I can now say safely that we overdid it, and made it too easy to fly all kinds of people all over the world. Too many international students flying here, and also too easy for too many business travelers to be all over the place. Maybe that makes us look prestigious, but look at all the resulting deaths here.
Michael Hawke 4
Because making it easy and affordable for people to connect and experience new cultures is a problem? Sickness and plagues have spread through the world long before planes.
Send urine samples to emirates 14 days before flight date


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