Coronavirus: Indian medics allowed to enter UAE to tackle Covid-19

A first batch of 88 doctors and nurses permitted to fly were visiting home when flights were grounded in March

Dozens of doctors and nurses from India will be allowed to fly to the Emirates to help tackle the Covid-19 outbreak.

Officials said 88 medical staff were given permission to leave India and enter UAE and were expected to travel soon.

The UAE Embassy in Delhi confirmed that "Indian authorities allowed to send first batch of medical team of 88 specialists, doctors and nurses to UAE within short period to support UAE’s efforts in fighting corona," in a post on Twitter..

"This reflects the special importance the Indian government attaches to bilateral relations between two countries," the tweet added.

The UAE cancelled scheduled passenger flights on March 19. It has begun to gradually bring back the first of an estimated 30,000 expats who were overseas at the time, starting with key workers.

India also imposed a strict lockdown since March 25, which was extended for another two weeks this weekend, with some relaxation of rules to help to restart the economy.

Indian embassy officials in Dubai told local media that among the 88 medics were UAE residents who were in India when flights were halted, while others were recent recruits waiting to move to the Emirates.

Also on Saturday, the UAE sent an aid plane containing seven tonnes of medical supplies to India to 7,000 medical staff there.

Ahmed Al Banna, UAE Ambassador to India, said the country was "committed to extending critical support to nations seeking to bolster their fight against the Covid-19 pandemic".

To date, the UAE has provided more than 348 tonnes of aid to 34 countries, supporting almost 350,000 medical professionals in the process.

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