Coronavirus: scores of Indian medics arrive in UAE to join fight against Covid-19

More than 100 doctors, critical-care nurses and paramedics touched down in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday

Dozens of critical care nurses, doctors and paramedics from India arrived in the UAE on Wednesday morning to join the country's fight against Covid-19.

The 105 medics landed at Abu Dhabi International Airport on a specially chartered Etihad flight.

They will have the task of providing vital support to Covid-19 patients in critical care units of hospitals across the UAE.

They have been enlisted by the UAE as part of efforts by VPS Healthcare, the Indian embassy, the Department of Health, and the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

“This is an excellent example of how our strategic partnership with UAE is being implemented on the ground in the area of health care," said Pavan Kapoor, India's ambassador to the UAE.

"We have always emphasised the strength of collective effort in fighting this pandemic.

"India and the UAE are now showing how helpful this can be in practice.

"This has been possible due to the long-standing and robust ties shared between our nations.”

Of the 105 members arriving in the UAE, 75 are recruits from India who have come to join the UAE’s battle against the pandemic.

The 30 others are employees of VPS Healthcare who had gone to India on vacation and could not return because of its lockdown.

All of these team members are extensively trained and experienced in critical care.

All of them are extensively experienced in critical care. We are very confident and motivated. We are taking it up as a challenge

Dr Nabil Debouni, VPS Healthcare's medical director, said the company was happy to play a part in the UAE's battle against Covid-19.

“We are fighting an unprecedented situation," Dr Debouni said.

"The UAE government has been rolling out a lot of initiatives across the emirates to contain the virus. We are happy and humbled to be a part of this.

"Bringing a medical team is a part of our continuous effort in supporting the government. It is our responsibility and duty.

“Ever since we discussed this with the authorities, we have received overwhelming support from the Indian embassy, Department of Health, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, and the Indian government.

"We also extend our deep gratitude to them for helping us in this mission.”

All members of the medical team are from Kerala and had Covid-19 tests on Monday before they boarded the flight to the UAE.

They followed social distancing practices throughout the journey.

Vinod Sebastian, one of the senior nurses among the medical team, said it was a proud moment for each of them.

“It is our duty to serve and treat the patients during this unprecedented crisis," Mr Sebastian said.

"For the majority of the nurses in the medical team, it is their maiden journey to a foreign country.

"All of them are extensively experienced in critical care. We are very confident and motivated. We are taking it up as a challenge.”

The arrival is the latest example of how the close ties between the UAE and India have proved significant in a turbulent time.

Eighty-eight nurses from India landed in the UAE this month to bolster the UAE's response to Covid-19.

The nurses, all trained in critical care, were drafted in by Aster DM Healthcare from its hospitals in India to work in Dubai medical centres.