Coronavirus: UAE pledges to look after families of victims

Emirates Red Crescent has been tasked by the government to manage the effort

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Families who have lost a loved one to Covid-19 will be provided for by an UAE government-linked charity.

Emirates Red Crescent has been chosen to act as patron to families of "all nationalities" who lost a relative.

Dr Mohammed Al Falahi, secretary-general of ERC, said it would "provide everything that these families need... to overcome the ordeal of losing a loved one", state news agency Wam reported.

Officials were identifying deceased patients and sourcing contact numbers for relatives on Friday, Wam reported.

ERC has yet to confirm if support packages would mean financial aid, housing allowance or school fees, for example, but pledged it would "spare no effort" to care for the people it was entrusted to look after.

Thirty-five UAE residents have lost their lives to the virus as of Friday, March 17.

Among them was Nigel Beaton, who died in a government hospital in Dubai last week.

The British events company manager was the first to be publicly-identified by friends and family.

He left behind his wife, Karen and two young daughters, three-year-old Fia and Isla, 6.

Beaton, who was in his early fifties and originally from Wales, had lived in the Emirates for more than 15 years and previously run his own business.

He worked on concerts for some of the biggest stars in entertainment, including Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and Kanye West.

"He was an incredible man with a heart of gold," long-time friend Daz Jamieson told The National on Thursday.

At least two other UAE residents who died of Covid-19 have been named by their families in recent weeks, though both were abroad when they became ill.

Ryan Storrie, 40, from Scotland, died after becoming ill during a trip home to Glasgow.

Dubai radio presenter Richard Coram also died in the UK after suffering health complications related to the virus.