Combating coronavirus: 88 medics from India arrive in UAE to assist in war against pandemic
Abu Dhabi - Each of them were warmly welcomed with a red rose.
Published: Sat 9 May 2020, 4:00 PM
Last updated: Sun 10 May 2020, 3:11 PM
The first batch of 88 medical professionals from India landed at 8.20pm at T2, Dubai International Airport, to help with the fight against Covid-19 in the UAE.
The nurses, who arrived via a special FlyDubai flight from Bengaluru International Airport, have all been handpicked from Aster DM Healthcare's hospitals in the Indian states of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra.
Each of them were warmly welcomed with a red rose.
Also read: Indian medics flying in to help in UAE's fight against Covid-19
For Royin Mathew Thomas, it's his first trip to the UAE. Working as a nurse for the last four years, the healthcare worker says it is his duty to serve people, and so is happy to help the UAE battle the pandemic as part of this special delegation from India.
Dipika Suraj Khavale from Kohlapur has three years of experience working in the ICU, and is glad for the chance to gain a different level of experience in the UAE. "It was a little difficult to leave India, because I had to leave my two-year-old baby behind. She is being looked after by my husband and mother-in-law. My husband works as a staffer in the OT, so he understands. My family is proud of me, and I too am proud to serve."
Nurse Sreelakshmi Satyanandan had last visited the UAE in 2016 in the hopes of finding work, as her husband works at a production company here. She will be joining Aster as a new recruit. "My husband had gone to Kerala on vacation, but got stuck when the pandemic started. He's there now with our three-year-old. I'm hoping he'll be able to join us in a couple of months and we can be together here. In the meanwhile, I'm glad to be here to help."
The nurses will be placed in quarantine for the first two weeks, following which they will be assigned to various field hospitals as per the requirement.
Speaking to Khaleej Times on site, Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, said, "This is a huge honour for us as Indians, and as medical professionals, to be the first organisation to be able to bring our staff over from India. The ICU medical staff is a huge scarcity. So, we're happy to be able to support in this time of need."
Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority said, "This initiative is testimony to the relationship shared by the two nations. We are deeply grateful to all frontline workers who are working tirelessly to serve the community."
Pavan Kapoor India's Ambassador to UAE said, "India and the UAE are showing how a strategic partnership translates into concrete cooperation on the ground in dealing with this pandemic. Helping a friend in need is the motto of cooperation between our two countries, and will further strengthen our long-standing friendship."
Consul General of India Vipul commented, "It is yet another example of strong India-UAE bilateral ties and reflects deep understanding of problems faced by expatriates as well as UAE nationals in UAE. We feel extremely proud to be a part of this joint initiative in providing relief for Covid-19 patients in different facilities."