Coronavirus: Most Emirati students returned to UAE, says Sheikh Mohammed

UAE Vice President says there are global lessons to be learnt from the pandemic

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, holds a video conference with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and diplomats. Courtesy Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Twitter
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Most Emirati students studying abroad have been returned to the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, said on Wednesday.

He said those who had to stay behind, due to "exceptional circumstances", are receiving continuous care.

After a meeting to review the country's diplomatic missions overseas, with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and a number of ambassadors, Sheikh Mohammed described the UAE's domestic and foreign government teams as "strong".

After this pandemic, the world needs new health, economic and political co-operation systems

"Caring for our citizens at home and abroad will remain a subject of great attention," he said on Twitter.

"Our diplomats have risen to the challenge, demonstrating high efficiency, in terms of pre-empting and preparing for all scenarios. Our nation fully appreciates their efforts."

The UAE called its citizens home weeks ago in response to the rapidly increasing cases of Covid-19 worldwide.

As country's began to close their borders and grounded aircraft, the UAE organised special flights to bring Emiratis back.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation’s operations centre has been providing logistical support to ensure the safe return of 1,743 Emiratis to the UAE through 39 evacuation plans, since the start of the outbreak.

The 24-hour operations centre is run by a team of up to 15 people whose primary job is to support citizens abroad during crisis.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed said the pandemic had revealed weaknesses in global systems and that there were lessons to be learnt to prepare for any future outbreaks.

"Our message to the international community: We are now stronger as a community, unified and co-operative.

"After this pandemic, the world needs new health, economic and political co-operation systems.

"We must keep pace with events that can paralyse the world in weeks," he said.