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Opinion and Editorial

UAE has set the bar high for crisis preparedness

Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi
(Thought Leader)
Filed on April 5, 2020
Sanitization drive: UAE's federal and local government institutions have shown exceptional readiness in containing the crisis.

(Shihab/ Khaleej Times)

Time and time again, the wise leadership of the UAE has proven to be more than adept at addressing challenges head on, and demonstrated its unwavering commitment to safeguard the welfare of its people, meet all their needs, and provide a safe and healthy living environment.
As the whole world is experiencing extraordinary circumstances due to the Covid-19 pandemic, our federal and local government institutions have shown exceptional readiness in containing the crisis. Since the onset of the global outbreak, our medical professionals - doctors, nurses, paramedics, technicians, and administrators - have responded to the call of duty, and taken a firm stand to stop the virus from spreading and keep everyone safe. To our true heroes on the frontlines, who continue to display amazing strength and resilience day and night, we say thank you. Thank you for your hard work and dedication in keeping us out of harm's way.
We must not forget those who ensure that we have an uninterrupted supply of food and other essentials, keep our streets and buildings clean and sanitised, and help us feel secure in these troubled times - the food production and supply chain workers, the shop employees, and pharmacists, the delivery drivers, the service professionals, the police, and civil defense. Furthermore, our appreciation belongs to our teachers, who have had to rethink the way they disseminate knowledge at the drop of a hat. We also extend our gratitude to the people - citizens, residents, and visitors - who play an instrumental role in the success of the country's emergency plan through complying with its guidelines. Thank you for understanding the dire need to act now, and for being responsible and staying at home to protect yourself and your loved ones. And we applaud the contribution of the media that continues to raise public awareness of ways to mitigate the threat and overcome this pandemic hand in hand with the government.
The efficient real-time response to the outbreak has positioned the UAE as an example for other countries to follow. In record time, the government has activated the early warning system, set up qualified medical teams, stocked up on medical and food supplies, expanded health insurance coverage to Covid-19 testing and treatment, installed thermal scanning systems at air and sea ports, implemented distance learning and remote working, and launched the National Disinfection Programme. With these measures and others, our country has set the bar high for crisis preparedness.
Having taken care of things at home, the UAE stands in solidarity with other countries in these tough times. It has assisted in the evacuation of people of 10 nationalities who were stranded in China, and offered them medical services in the International Humanitarian City. And in a step that reflects its strong relations with its neighbours, the UAE welcomed two airplanes carrying 400 students, mostly GCC nationals, and quarantined them in a hotel, where they underwent the necessary testing.
Our past is full of stories of how the UAE extended a helping hand to countries in their darkest hours. Now, history is repeating itself with the UAE receiving international praise for its efforts to provide urgent medical aid to countries most severely hit by the Covid-19 pandemic.
We, the citizens and residents of the UAE, are lucky to be able to say with confidence: With an exceptional leadership like ours, what is there to worry about? -Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi is the Minister of Climate Change and Environment

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