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Video: Dubai closes Covid-19 field hospital, bids farewell to last patient

AFP/Dubai
Filed on July 8, 2020 | Last updated on July 8, 2020 at 06.10 am
dubai trade centre, field hospital, covid-19, coronavirus

(Supplied)

A 3,000-bed field hospital was set up at WTC in April to treat coronavirus patients.

Dubai on Tuesday closed a field hospital set up at the World Trade Centre to treat coronavirus cases after the last patient, a Japanese national, walked out in good health.

Doctors and nurses, still wearing protective gear, lined up clapping for Hiroaki Fujita as he left the convention centre which was converted to a 3,000-bed field hospital in April to treat virus patients.

"I ask everyone to take a more safer way," Fujita said. "Feeling very good that I am about to go out."

The number of coronavirus cases in the UAE has dropped sharply from a peak of 900 a day in May, although there has been a new uptick recently.

The country has so far reported 52,600 coronavirus cases, 326 deaths and 41,714 recoveries.

A majority of the remaining patients are being treated at other hospitals across the UAE and some of them are recovering at home.

Recently, Abu Dhabi's 1,000-bed field hospital at Adnec was also declared Covid-free.

Director of the hospital, Manal Taryam, said medical equipment used will be "kept at stores and will be continuously sterilised, making them ready...in case of a second wave".

"If we need, we can reactivate the field hospital within hours...But we are confident while closing it," she said.

"Today, thanks to efforts...we have been able to put the pandemic under control," Taryam said.

The closure coincides with Dubai reopening its doors for tourists after a four-month shutdown with the hope of reviving the key tourism sector.

Managed by Dubai's Covid-19 Command and Control Centre, the 25,000-square-metre facility was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, on April 17, 2020.

A total of 1,269 patients were treated and cared for by a medical team that included 279 doctors, nurses, pharmacists and technicians, in addition to 200 volunteers.

 

Dr Amer Sharif, Head of Dubai's Covid-19 Command and Control Centre, said the full recovery of the last patient at the hospital is the result of concerted efforts of the government and private sector and the commitment of the community, which have played an instrumental role in the progress achieved by Dubai.

This marked progress achieved by the emirate in curbing the spread of the virus was made possible by the guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the encouragement of Sheikh Hamdan.

Dr Sharif reiterated that sustained implementation of precautionary measures and the continued commitment of the public and other stakeholders in following preventive guidelines in the period ahead are critical to fully eradicating Covid-19. "Dubai has demonstrated its preparedness and flexibility in tackling the Covid-19 crisis thanks to measures undertaken at local and federal levels to tackle the pandemic," he said, noting that a number of hospitals are fully clear of Covid-19 cases and have resumed their diagnostic and treatment services.

Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), said: "The achievements of the field hospital and all other medical facilities in Dubai reflect the efforts of our frontline defenders, including doctors, nurses and technical cadres. The continuous efforts of medical cadres, who worked day and night to provide the best medical care, in line with the latest global protocols, has contributed to successfully treating Covid-19 patients."

Al Qutami added that the recovery of all 1,269 patients that were admitted and discharged is a testament to the capabilities of Dubai's healthcare sector.

 

Dr Essa Kazim, Head of the Hospital and Medical Services Team at the Covid-19 Command and Control Centre, said: "The UAE has demonstrated its efficiency in combating the outbreak. As Covid-19 began to spread globally, the UAE took immediate measures to ensure the safety of citizens and residents and deployed healthcare workers from both the public and private sector to prevent exhausting the healthcare system."

He added: "The field hospital is part of continuous efforts to enhance the city's health preparedness and enable the health sector to deal with all scenarios. The hospital strengthened our ability to deal with stable and moderate cases, thereby reducing the pressure on hospitals in the city and allowing them to deal with critical cases that require the care and intervention of different specialised medical teams."

Fully equipped hospital

The field hospital was set up with infrastructure similar to that of a full-fledged hospital, including radiology equipment, a clinical laboratory, a comprehensive pharmacy and other services that can be operated remotely.

It was staffed by well-trained medical staff, including doctors, nurses and para-medical personnel from the public and private healthcare sector.

Set up in record time in accordance with guidelines approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), the hospital had a 3,000-bed capacity, out of which 1,800 beds were dedicated to intensive care. A total of 5,584 lab tests and 2,370 x-rays were conducted at the hospital.

Mental health services

The hospital provided patients with mental health services with the assistance of robotic technology. A telemedicine robot was deployed to connect patients directly with a psychologist for counselling. 

The device, which featured an audio and video communication system, was available to all patients.

The facility also featured recreational facilities for patients, including a sports zone where patients were able to enjoy playing games in a controlled healthcare setting. The games were available in several languages, including English, Urdu, Malayalam, and Tagalog.

Other recreational facilities set up to boost patients' morale and ensure their mental health and well-being included a movie theatre, which provided weekly screenings, a gym, and a café.


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