Coronavirus: UAE, Israel health ministers discuss potential COVID-19 cooperation

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Health ministers of the UAE and Israel discussed cooperation in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, state news agency WAM reported.

UAE Minister of Health and Prevention Abdul Rahman bin Mohammad Al Owais and Israeli Minister of Health Yuli Edelstein discussed in a phone call “ways to strengthen cooperation in the medical field,” with a focus on the pharmaceutical industry and medical research, according to WAM.

“They also discussed frameworks for cooperation in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” the report said, adding that vaccine trials and treatments for the coronavirus were also a topic of conversation.

“Due to the circumstances imposed by the pandemic, there must be concerted efforts in the field of medical research,” Al Owais told WAM.

In June, Israeli and Emirati private companies announced they would collaborate on a COVID-19 initiative.

Two private companies in the UAE signed “an agreement with two companies in Israel to develop research and technology to fight COVID-19,” WAM reported at the time.

“This scientific and medical agreement forms part of constructive cooperation aimed at addressing the COVID-19 pandemic to safeguard the health of the region's peoples,” the statement added.

The UAE and Israel were recently ranked the safest countries in the Middle East during the coronavirus pandemic, in a comprehensive data analysis by Hong Kong-based Deep Knowledge Group.

Both countries were classified within the “Tier 1” category - 20 countries that ranked highest “in terms of regional safety and stability” in the era of COVID-19.

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