A team consisting of 88 medical staff including doctors and nurses will fly from India to UAE help tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.
The UAE Embassy in Delhi confirmed that “Indian authorities allowed to send first batch of medical team of 88 specialists, doctors and nurses to UAE within short period to support UAE’s efforts in fighting corona,” in a post on Twitter..
“This reflects the special importance the Indian government attaches to bilateral relations between two countries,” the tweet added. The UAE cancelled scheduled passenger flights on March 19. It has begun to gradually bring back the first of an estimated 30,000 expats who were overseas at the time, starting with key workers.
India also imposed a strict lockdown since March 25, which was extended for another two weeks this weekend, with some relaxation of rules to help to restart the economy.
Indian embassy officials in Dubai told local media that among the 88 medics were UAE residents who were in India when flights were halted, while others were recent recruits waiting to move to the Emirates.
Also on Saturday, the UAE sent an aid plane containing seven tonnes of medical supplies to India to 7,000 medical staff there. Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, said the country was “committed to extending critical support to nations seeking to bolster their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic”. To date, the UAE has provided more than 348 tonnes of aid to 34 countries, supporting almost 350,000 medical professionals in the process.
India had earlier sent a 15-member rapid response medical team to Kuwait to provide technical expertise and help that country in its battle against the coronavirus pandemic.India has also approved the export of hydroxychloroquine, a medicine found to be aiding the treatment of COVID-19, to friendly countries including the UAE.
There are more than 3.4 million Indians living in the UAE and Indian healthcare professionals form a majority of employees in many healthcare facilities here.
Some of them have offered their voluntary service to the UAE health authorities in tiding over the worst health crisis that has hit the world.
Indian missions in the UAE had also mobilised the voluntary service of some of their healthcare professionals to support the UAE in its isolation facilities and to provide tele-medicine and counselling services through the missions’ helplines.