Dubai permits COVID-19 saliva tests for children

FILE PHOTO: A patient collects his own saliva sample at a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site operated by University of Utah Health at Rice-Eccles Stadium, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak continues in Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S., November 14, 2020. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai’s health regulator said on Sunday children aged between 3-16 could now be tested for COVID-19 by providing a saliva sample instead of the widely used nasal swab.

The saliva test had been permitted following a research study by the regulator and a local university, the Dubai Health Authority said on Twitter.

The United Arab Emirates has reported 158,990 coronavirus cases and 552 related deaths.

The government does not disclose where in the seven emirates they occur.

Writing by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Andrew Heavens