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In a first, Covid-19 patient shifted from UAE to India

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

Ajman-based businessman Jabbar tested positive for Covid-19 in the UAE on January 6, 2021.


Dhanusha Gokulan

Published: Sat 16 Jan 2021, 10:12 PM

Last updated: Sun 17 Jan 2021, 9:58 AM

An Indian expat, who suffered serious medical complications after being diagnosed with Covid-19, has become the first patient to be transferred to India for further treatment, according to social workers.

Keralite Abdul Jabbar Chettian is said to be the first person to be medically evacuated from a foreign country to Kerala, by following the Covid-19 protocol transfer for a patient who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Ajman-based businessman Jabbar tested positive for Covid-19 in the UAE on January 6, 2021. However, as the viral infection progressed, Jabbar was diagnosed with pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

The family wanted to shift him to Kerala for advanced treatment, said Praveen Kumar, social worker and member of the medical team at the Consulate-General of India in Dubai. “The transfer was initiated by air ambulance company Universal Medical Transfer Services, which has operations in the UAE and India,” he added.

Jabbar’s nephew Adil CT told Khaleej Times: “We decided to transfer him because 90 per cent of his family is back home in Kerala. Also, my uncle was keen to continue his treatment there. As of now, he is still critical. However, we hope that his condition would improve soon,”

The transfer was completed successfully on January 14 from Ajman Hospital to Aster MIMS Hospital Kozhikode, Kerala, by Chartered Air Ambulance with Universal Medical Transfers special medical team trained in transferring Covid-19 positive patients using an ISOVAC Isolation Pod. The air ambulance with the patient landed at 5.30pm (UAE time) at Kozhikode International Airport, following which, the patient was transferred to Aster MIMS Hospital.

“The transfer was done following the complete Covid-19 protocols and taking special safety precautions. While the patient turned Covid-19 negative on January 13, considering pneumonia with severe ARDS, we followed the protocols for transferring him,” according to Dr Afsal Mohammed, medical director of Universal Medical Transfer Services.

“We had to take special permission from the government of UAE and Kerala. The special first-time permission for the transfer was taken from the Collectorate, Malappuram, and Kozhikode Airport Public Health Officer,” explained Kumar. In addition, a special NOC from the UAE Ministry of Health was required, with special efforts put in by the Indian Consulate, said Kumar.


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