Coronavirus: Abu Dhabi thanks private hospital group as it discharges final Covid-19 patients

Mediclinic and its frontline staff played an crucial role in the fight against the outbreak, health chiefs said

Nurses wearing protective equipment speak while testing patients, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the Cleveland Clinic hospital in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, April 20, 2020. REUTERS/Christopher Pike
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A private medical group has been thanked for its role in tackling the coronavirus outbreak, as health officials confirmed that its hospitals had released their last Covid-19 patients.

Mediclinic treated cases at four hospitals in Abu Dhabi City and Al Ain as part of joint efforts with the government to tackle the outbreak.

It also set up and operated Universal Hospital, which went out of business last year, as a special Covid-19 unit. It has also discharged its last case.

“It is without a doubt that the national efforts and the teamwork between the public and private sector are what enabled us to face this pandemic and maintain the health and safety of all members of the community," said Dr Jamal Alkaabi, acting undersecretary of Department of Health - Abu Dhabi.

In April, at the height of the outbreak, Abu Dhabi's government pooled public and private sector medical staff, deploying doctors and nurses where they were most needed on any given day.

The decision gave officials access to thousands of medics to treat the then growing number of patients. Since then, nationwide numbers for fallen significantly, with daily recoveries now typically twice the number of new infections.

Fewer than 1 in every 100 people tested in Abu Dhabi City are now found to have the virus, officials said on Sunday.

"Today we witness a spurt in Covid-19 recovery rate, and many hospitals releasing their Covid-19 patients and continuing to provide healthcare services to all members of the community," Dr Alkaabi said.

Mediclinic's Airport Road and Al Noor hospitals in Abu Dhabi and its Al Ain and Al Jowhara hospitals in Al Ain are returning to non-Covid services this week.

The move is seen as crucial to ensuring non-Covid patients get the checks and treatment they may have been missed during the outbreak.

Abu Dhabi continues to test and treat patients in public and private health facilities, and in special field hospitals set up across the emirate.

These include a huge medical centre in Mussaffah and at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre.

David Hadley, chief executive at Mediclinic Middle East, thanked his staff "for their bravery and dedication during these challenging times".

“Mediclinic Middle East and its entire team of doctors, nurses and administrators are committed to providing quality care and services to the community at all times and under all circumstances," he said.

"We are also particularly proud that we were able to support the Department of Health Abu Dhabi... and we will continue to do so wherever and whenever we can."

This article originally included reference to several hospitals run by Mubadala, which continues to work with the government to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.