A United Arab Emirates aid plane carrying approximately 10 tons of medical supplies was dispatched to Italy to assist the country in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, benefiting over 10,000 healthcare professionals, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
This initiative is part of the UAE's commitment to cooperating with countries affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in order to bolster global efforts to curb the virus’ spread.
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Italy is leading the global death toll with 15,877 fatalities. Out of a total of 70,009 killed in the pandemic, 50,215 are in Europe, according to figures compiled from official government data and the World Health Organization.
“Since its founding as a nation, the UAE has committed to extending assistance to countries and peoples in distress, and the COVID-19 crisis has affirmed the effectiveness of this approach. This is evidenced by efforts to help a number of countries to which the pandemic has spread, reflecting that the UAE humanitarian approach prioritizes support for the leadership and people of countries experiencing challenges,” said Omar Obaid Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of Italy.
#UnitedArabEmirates aid plane carrying approximately 10 tonnes of medical supplies was dispatched to Italy to assist the country in combating the #COVID19 pandemic, benefitting over 10,000 healthcare professionals.#WamNews https://t.co/ZfwySJG11R pic.twitter.com/kmTRHfXr2g— WAM English (@WAMNEWS_ENG) April 6, 2020
Al Shamsi said this aid comes within the framework of numerous other initiatives undertaken by the UAE to combat the spread of COVID-19. “These initiatives include emergency assistance collaborations with the World Health Organization, WHO, as well as the provision of aid to various countries, including China, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Seychelles to help them overcome this crisis.”
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The UAE assistance to Italy will enable medical staff to safely perform their professional duties in combating the virus’ spread, the envoy said.
Italian Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio said that the aid granted by the UAE symbolizes solidarity between the two countries and represents critical assistance to Italy’s doctors, nurses, and medical staff.
In the name of the Italian people, Di Maio thanked the UAE Government and people, noting that the donation would enable thousands of Italians to protect themselves and work to save the lives of others.
The Italian Ambassador said: “We are currently experiencing a phase that can only be described as war against an invisible enemy waged by our medical personnel, and the personal protective equipment provided today by the UAE to Italy is our weapon in this battle.
“Italy will never forget the countries that supported it during this difficult period, which is not only a health crisis but an economic and community one as well,” he added.