Coronavirus Pandemic

India Covid crisis: UAE hospital, social groups team up to help Kerala fight virus

Dhanusha Gokulan (Principal Correspondent)/Dubai Filed on May 26, 2021
Photo: Supplied

The first batch of oxygen cylinders and medical equipment has been dispatched to their native state.

Keralite expatriate welfare organisations, community groups, businesses, and individuals in the UAE have banded together to send medical aid to combat the lethal Covid-19 scourge in their native Indian state.

The first consignment of medical equipment sponsored by Keralite expatriates in the UAE and Bahrain was shipped to Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala on Tuesday, confirmed OV Musthafa, the director of the Department of non-resident Keralite Affairs, Norka Roots.


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The group, consisting of various social groups and individuals, collaborated and dispatched a total of four medical ventilators, 43 oxygen concentrators, 171 oxygen cylinders, and 2,830 pulse oximeters on Tuesday.

The initiative was launched after Kerala’s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appealed to non-resident Keralites from across the world to assist the state in its fight against Covid-19. Following this, the Care for Kerala initiative was launched under the Norka Roots banner.

Musthafa, the UAE-based director of the state-governed NRI organisation, confirmed that the first batch of supplies, containing vital medical aid, was sent from Dubai to Kerala.

“The first consignment of the sponsored items from UAE and Bahrain took off from Dubai on May 25 and will be cleared by Kerala Medical Services Corporation (KMSCL) in coordination with Norka Roots and the Government of Kerala Task Force this week itself.”

He explained, “We’ve received several other promises, including ventilators and setting up of oxygen plants. These will be confirmed once the goods are received or payments have been made to vendors. Similar initiatives are taking place across the GCC and all these activities are greatly appreciated.”

The documentation process for the second shipment from the UAE will be initiated on Wednesday, according to Musthafa. “The anticipated date for the take-off of the second consignment is May 31,” he added. Social groups have been requested to procure or deliver items to the Aster DM warehouse latest by May 29.

The mission has been channelised through Aster Volunteers, the global CSR wing of Aster DM Healthcare, and the International Humanitarian City (IHC) in Dubai. The consignment worth Dh277,866 has been airlifted from Dubai through IHC and Emirates Cargo.

Dr Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, and the Director of Norka Roots, said Aster volunteers aided the effort by facilitating materials procurement and logistics with the support of IHC.

The group has plans to extend additional support by aiding the procurement of essential supplies such as oxygen cylinders, high-flow nasal cannula, and oxygen generator plants. All medical aid will be used in various government hospitals across Kerala.

In the initial phase of the mission, the total support anticipated has been valued at above half a million dirhams, excluding the oxygen generator plants, said Moopen.


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"We’re glad to support the 'Covid19 - Care for Kerala' mission, through Norka Roots, engaging NRK and sponsors from various organisations. Aster Volunteers play a key role in connecting vendors with sponsors and aiding the logistics functions for Norka Roots,” said Jaleel PA, the head of CSR at Aster DM Healthcare.

The groups that came together for this purpose from the UAE and Bahrain include the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), UAE; World Malayalee Council; All Kerala Colleges Alumni Forum (AKCAF) Volunteers and AKCAF Events, MSS; OVM and Friends; Prathibha Bahrain; ORUMA Ruwais, AKMG; Engineers Community, Kairali Fujeira; Indian School Al Ain, ORMA; Shamnad & Friends; RAI Int’l FZCO; UHY James CA; Rays of Hope Al Ain; WMC Al Ain Women’s Forum; Anbodu UAE; Tharattu Al Ain; Sevanam Al Ain; WAKE, Al Ain; Malayalee Samajam; Yuva Kalasahithi; Devassy Jose; Al Zaytoon Fujeirah; Akhil Vinayak; and Jayasree Linob.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Originally from India, Dhanusha Gokulan has been working as a journalist for 10 years. She has a keen interest in writing about issues that plague the common person and will never turn down a human interest story. She completed her Bachelor in Arts in Journalism, Economics and English Literature from Mangalore University in 2008. In her spare time, she dabbles with some singing/songwriting, loves travelling and Audible is her favourite mobile application. Tweet at her @wordjunkie88

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