TANZANIA: The government of Zanzibar has today launched a new COVID-19 testing technology that senses body radiation in humans to give instant results, making it the first country in Africa to employ the technology.
Known as the exponential deep examination (EDE) scanning technology, the test employs a technology that can detect a possible COVID-19 infection through the measurement of electromagnetic waves. The waves tend to change when the RNA virus particles are present in a patient’s body, therefore giving an instant result.
“This is a safe method of testing for medical personnel because it can detect and provide accurate results within a five-meter range. It is also very convenient for the passengers, as compared to other forms of tests,” says Dr. Mohamed Gulrez, a microbiologist working with Sanimed and Alfacare, the companies teaming behind the technology.
The technology comes as a relief for thousands of COVID-negative travelers as they will be assured of a safe and accessible entry into Zanzibar without having to worry about the trouble of enduring an uncomfortable nose swab.
“It is also very effective; we tested the results on over 20,000 people in the UAE, and the results are very promising. It is 93.5% sensitive and 83% specific”, Dr. Gulrez says, adding that it is a screening test and not a definitive test.
To use the technology, one needs to install an application in a mobile phone and have the testing device close by, then use the mobile phone to scan the passenger’s chest, giving them instant results.
This morning, the first flight from Abu Dhabi, Dubai arrived in Zanzibar after they were stopped following the COVID-19 pandemic.
On arrival at the Abeid Amani Kurume International Airport, the passengers aboard the flight were each subjected to a test before their entry into the East African island country.
One passenger, Damian Mariusz said that it was his first time to see the device and thought that it was fast and convenient.
“I liked it because it was very fast and very convenient, so I think that it will be very good for the airports where there is a lot of people who need to pass and this will be comfortable for them”, he said.
Introduced in Abu Dhabi in February 2020, the technology has been in place for two years now and has changed the testing experience for the people living in the United Arab Emirates.
“Africa continues to be a hotbed of innovation and technology. We are pleased to roll out this first-of-a-kind EDE scanner to revolutionize COVID-19 testing in collaboration with the Government of Zanzibar,” Ajay Bhatia, Chief Executive Officer of Sanimed International said.
“As the operator of the world’s largest COVID 19 diagnostics facility, we have decided to collaborate with Alfacare Group to deploy one of our cutting-edge laboratories and testing facilities in Zanzibar to integrate with scanning technology and provide travelers with the convenience that is consistent with the changing world we live in,” Bhatia added.
Speaking at the statehouse where he hosted a team of foreign journalists, the Zanzibari president, H.E. Hussein Mwinyi lauded the technology saying that it would bring back the glory of his country as a tourist destination.
“The pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on individuals, communities, and industries, in particular the travel industry. That’s why we are pleased to collaborate with Sanimed International in launching the innovative EDE scanners in Zanzibar, to introduce greater efficiency for travelers coming through Zanzibar as their first port of entry,” President Mwinyi said.