Indian doctors fly in to UAE with special permission to aid Covid fight

Air Arabia flights bring Indian Covid heroes back to UAE – with 80 more due next week

Doctors who travelled to India before flights to and from the country were suspended have been flown back to the UAE to support the fight against Covid-19.

Twenty NMC Healthcare staff arrived in Sharjah on Tuesday on two chartered Air Arabia flights, from Trivandrum and Kochi.

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The staff wanted to come back and serve their patients in these trying and testing times
Michael Brenden Davis, chief executive of NMC Healthcare

They are working at NMC Royal Hospital in the emirate, having undergone health checks including Covid-19 tests.

In June, specialists in cardiology, pulmonology, and intensive and critical care were flown from Mumbai to the UAE on an eight-seat plane.

One is Dr Sanjay Rajdev, a consultant interventional cardiologist at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi.

“I find myself incredibly grateful to have been able to come back and save at least two lives,” Dr Rajdev said.

“These were two acute heart-attack patients whom I could operate on and save.”

NMC Healthcare was given special approval to fly back employees who had travelled to India to visit relatives.

Flights from the country will remain suspended until at least August 1 owing to the number of Covid-19 infections there.

Forty-nine other NMC staff flew from India to Dubai last week.

They included 31 medics for its hospitals in the emirate, which include NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda, and NMC Royal Hospital, DIP.

Staff will return to their posts after completing a mandatory quarantine period.

A further 80 staff are booked on special flights to the UAE from India next week.

These doctors, nurses and paramedics will fly in with special regulatory approval from Cochin, Calicut, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Chennai.

Earlier this month, 95 medics from Zulekha Hospital in Al Nahda were flown back to Dubai from India by the UAE government.

Relations between the two nations remain strong, confirmed with the dispensation offered to private healthcare providers to fly in professionals from restricted regions.

A plane loaded with seven tonnes of medical supplies for 7,000 medical staff was sent to India in May last year.

Logistics company DP World arranged for medical oxygen to be transported to the country as it struggled with a 600 per cent rise in demand.

Michael Brenden Davis, chief executive of NMC Healthcare, said returning staff were needed for the operation of hospitals across the UAE.

“The staff wanted to come back and serve their patients in these trying and testing times,” he said.

“Accomplishing this required an incredible amount of co-ordination and logistics with multiple regulatory approvals.

“We worked in tandem with the various regulatory and approving bodies, and the ease and speed with which the two regulatory bodies of health care and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority processed the approvals was truly incredible.”

Updated: July 21st 2021, 6:57 AM