KT edit: A triumph for diplomacy as India-Dubai flights resume

The healthcare system has been ramped up to deal with any situation that arose from the pandemic.

Dubai’s calibrated reopening for Indian resident visa holders shows the emirate’s commitment to a return to post-pandemic normal, which is a better option that no travel at all. Two months of suspension of flights from India had left many passengers stranded with their jobs at risk even as remote working became the norm. Families and workers who have been separated for months can now heave a sigh of relief as they return to the UAE whose vaccination drive has ensured cases remain under control. Dubai, meanwhile, has been nimble and effective with pandemic control measures. This involves early tracing of cases, sanitation campaigns and swift treatment of patients.

The healthcare system has been ramped up to deal with any situation that arose from the pandemic.

It is important to understand and predict worst-case scenarios, and credit must go to Dubai’s healthcare surveillance system whose officials work round the clock. Smart management of the situation has put the emirate on the road to recovery. Foreseeing risks posed by coronavirus while creating systems to deal with it has helped Dubai cope with the crisis better than other cities. A semblance of normalcy has been achieved in this metropolis even as the virus remains a concern globally. This modern hub of international travel is testing the waters with this phased reopening ahead of Dubai Expo in October. Such a controlled opening will give it an idea of what to expect as millions of passengers and visitors arrive in the city for the mega event that will continue into next March.

On the India-Dubai sector, passengers will be tested three times – twice in India before they take their flights and once on arrival at Dubai airport. There will be no compromise on safety and the health system is geared for a cautious welcome to those have had to stare at uncertainty for months in India.

Flights were cancelled after cases and fatalities in India and South Asia rose as a new Delta variant spread across the region. This led to air closures from other countries as well. The good news is that cases in India have now fallen below 60,000, and the country is lifting curfews in phases in what is being called smart unlocking. There’s a slow return to economic activity after two troubled months. The UAE and India have shared a close strategic and cultural partnership for years and this is evident in the way the issue of suspension and resumption of flights has been handled by both sides. Both countries agree that health is the priority during the pandemic and a balance with livelihoods need to be struck. This is indeed a triumph for diplomacy and here’s to happy journeys back to the UAE.

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