UAE: Hospital helplines buzz with Covid-19 vaccine seekers

Reuters file photo
Reuters file photo

Abu Dhabi - A private hospital in Abu Dhabi has raised a tent to manage the crowd expected from Monday.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 21 Mar 2021, 9:24 PM

Last updated: Mon 22 Mar 2021, 6:27 AM

Hospitals were flooded with enquiries as the health authorities resumed administering Covid-19 vaccine to all eligible citizens and residents from Sunday. Medical facilities in Abu Dhabi reported receiving bookings for appointments to take the jab past midnight – just hours after the official announcement came from the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) on Saturday late night.

Though the first day witnessed only a few people getting the appointment to take the first dose of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, a private hospital in Abu Dhabi has raised a tent to manage the crowd expected from Monday.

Dr Ramzi Alshaiba, medical director and specialist - general surgery at Bareen International Hospital –MBZ City in Abu Dhabi said: “Covid-19 vaccine first dose is now available for all UAE citizens and residents, but strictly by appointment only. We have been getting a lot of inquiries from the community about getting the first jab. We advise our patients to visit our website or WhatsApp Bareen hotline to book an appointment.”

In the past six weeks, priority was given to the elderly and people with chronic diseases. And now medical facilities have got ready to handle eligible citizens and residents aged 16 and above.

“To operate the vaccine programme in an organised and controlled manner, we have set-up a purpose-built Covid-19 vaccine tent to house our vaccine operations while at the same time, providing comfort and convenience to our patients,” Dr Alshaiba added.

Hospitals have requested community members to opt for online appointments than calling through helpline numbers.

A spokesperson from VPS Healthcare Group said: “Our online booking was reactivated following the official announcement. We have got a good response from the residents. Quite a few eligible people have taken the first dose of vaccine today. In the coming days, we expect more people to benefit from the vaccination drive.”

Community members can get inoculated for free in any of the 205 vaccination locations available across the country. People can book appointments through the MoHAP’s Covid-19 UAE application (app), which can be downloaded from Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

The app is functional in Arabic, English and Urdu languages.

Covid-19 vaccine appointment booking options are divided into various categories such as resident, family, education and healthcare sector worker and companies. Also, senior citizens can request for a home vaccination programme.

People need to provide personal details such as name, Emirates ID, contact number, emirate they are residing, desired date, preferred vaccination centre and time slot.

Besides, the app provides latest information on Covid-19, self-assessment survey, psychological support through phone call, WhatsApp, email, audio and video call, hotline numbers and location of the nearest diagnostic centres run by MoHAP.

For further details, people can call on 80011111 (MoHAP), 8001717 (Department of Health – Abu Dhabi) and 800342 (Dubai Health Authority).

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