Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 1 November 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Coronavirus: Dubai closes second Covid-19 field hospital

Final patients discharged from 1,200-bed clinic that opened temporarily to increase hospital capacity during outbreak

Dubai Parks and Resorts' field hospital discharged its final coronavirus patients on Monday, as the temporary facility closed its doors.

Nour Eldin, from Egypt, was the last of 17 patients to leave the 1,200-bed clinic and was waved off to the cheers of more than 130 doctors, nurses and volunteers.

The teacher, who was admitted to the hospital on June 28, thanked the staff for taking care of him during his stay.

The hospital was one of several temporary facilities built to help manage patient flow in the city when the virus was at its peak.

“It feels so good to be one of the last patients leaving the hospital,” Mr Eldin, 26, told The National.

It feels so good to be one of the last patients leaving the hospital

Nour Eldin

“I can’t thank the staff here enough. Through a difficult time they made my stay very comfortable. They deserve so much praise for how selfless they have been.”

Mr Eldin first came down with mild symptoms for the disease in late June.

After more than 14 days in the care of healthcare staff, Mr Eldin passed his final test for coronavirus on Sunday.

While the facility is now officially closed, Mubarak Al Darmaki, chief operation officer at Al Rahba Hospital, said it would “remain on standby” for several weeks in case there was a demand for patient beds in the city.

Dr Reem Albarguthi has worked at the hospital since early May.

Dr Reem Albarguthi was flown in from the US to help out at the Covid-19 field hospital. Chris Whiteoak / The National
Dr Reem Albarguthi was flown in from the US to help out at the Covid-19 field hospital. Chris Whiteoak / The National

She was one of hundreds of Emirati doctors repatriated from the US by the UAE government to help curb the spread of Covid-19.

“I’ve been living in California for a year and I came back from the United States in March,” she told The National.

“I was repatriated by my country, the UAE, and I was asked to join one of the field hospitals to oversee patients with Covid-19. Of course, there was no hesitation.

“Today is a wonderful day for all us physicians and nurses.

“We have been working non-stop for the past two months and we just saw out the last batch of patients, they were discharged happy, healthy and doing well.”

The 29,000 square metre hospital, managed by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), opened to patients on April 24 and treated more than 2,300 for Covid-19.

The Dubai Parks and Resorts field hospital was one of three temporary facilities set up by Seha as authorities planned and prepared for a potential surge in coronavirus cases.

For Filipina Vidanes, July 10 will be a date etched in her memory.

After being diagnosed with Covid-19 in late June, she was given the all-clear by her doctor at the weekend.

“It’s overwhelming to be leaving the hospital today as one of the last patients,” she said.

“I received my final negative test result three days ago but I had to complete my 14-day quarantine period, so now I get to leave."

Ms Vidanes, who has lived in the UAE for 16 years, was first tested for coronavirus on June 25. Two days later, to her surprise, she received her results which showed she was infected.

“It was a complete shock to me because I had no symptoms whatsoever.

“When I came here I felt blessed. The way the staff have taken care of us all has been amazing.

“It sounds funny to say because it’s a hospital, but it’s been a lovely experience.”

On Monday, officials from Seha thanked staff for their efforts and said the support received by a number of different entities including Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Police and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, helped make the operation a success.

Updated: July 13, 2020 05:07 PM

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