Dubai Airline Conducting Blood Tests On Passengers Before Boarding

(TheFreedomFlag.Com)- In a sign of what may be to come for air travel, COVID-19 blood tests are being conducted on passengers before they are allowed to board flights on for Emirates airlines.
On Wednesday, the company announced it was using the first rapid COVID-19 blood tests at Dubai International Airport for a flight that was headed to Tunisia. Before departure, all passengers were tested by the Dubai Health Authority at the Group Check-in area. Results of the tests were available within 10 minutes.
In a statement, the airlines’ CEO, Adel Al Redha, said:
“We are working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights. 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.”
While the airline said it was conducting the tests, it didn’t say whether it would refuse boarding to passengers based on the results. Blood tests are meant to detect antibodies, which would tell whether a person had been infected with, and recovered from, COVID-19 — not whether they currently have it.
One potential issue with the tests being used by airlines is that antibodies may not be detectable in the early days of an infection, as the body is just starting to build an immune response to it, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said.
Either way, these blood tests may be a step in the right direction, and one that more and more airlines across the world start doing as a way to re-start some of their cancelled flights.
Another UAE-based airline, Etihad Airways, plans to start a trial of self-service kiosks at the Abu Dhabi airport later this month. It will help identify travelers who have medical conditions, and may be able to detect people who are in the early stages of a COVID-19 infection. The kiosks will monitor a person’s respiratory rate, heart rate and body temperature.
Similar monitoring of passengers may occur throughout the world as a way to ease back into international travel as countries start to flatten their curves of coronavirus infections. Many countries have already eased travel restrictions, but they may require a certificate of good health to allow foreign passengers into their borders.
The pandemic has forced the United States to help Americans return home from foreign countries, to the tune of almost 63,000 people from 106 countries since January 29.
The airline industry has been decimated worldwide as demand for travel — especially international travel — has all but evaporated.
According to the International Air Transport Association, airline passenger revenues are expected to drop by $314 billion in 2020, which would mark a 55% decline compared to last year.
In the United States, the airline industry is set to receive federal support through the $2 trillion economic stimulus package Congress passed last month. But while that money will go a long way to keep the airlines afloat, the question of how to instill confidence in travelers is still unanswered.