DUBAI: The UAE has sought to allay Danish authorities’ concerns over pre-flight coronavirus testing that led to a suspension of all flights from the emirates for five days.
Danish Transport Minister Benny Engelbrecht on Friday said the decision was prompted by doubts over the accuracy of COVID-19 tests in the UAE, according to a report by Associated Press.
“We can’t ignore such a suspicion,” Engelbrecht said. “We need to be absolutely sure that there are no problems.”
In response, Faisal Lutfi, assistant undersecretary for consular affairs at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that all accredited UAE testing centers are subject to strict quality checks.
“Severe penalties are imposed for non-compliance with international standards to ensure the highest level of quality in testing,” he said, according to a report by WAM, the state news agency.
Lutfi said that the UAE is in contact with Danish authorities to “clarify the details” and cases behind the decision.
The safety and security of all travelers remains the highest priority, he added.
Dubai-based Emirates airline confirmed that flights from the UAE have been suspended until Jan. 26, but said that travelers could still fly between the Danish capital Copenhagen and Dubai.
“Customers booked for travel on flight EK152 from Copenhagen during this period will be accepted for travel,” the airline said.
On Friday, the UAE health ministry announced that it had carried out 170,694 COVID-19 tests in the previous 24 hours.
The ministry reported 3,552 new coronavirus cases on Friday, bringing the total number in the UAE to 270,810.