Doctors, nurses from India fly back to the UAE to fight COVID-19 pandemic

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Dozens of doctors, nurses and caregivers stranded in India have flown back to the United Arab Emirates with special permission to help the country fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

The caregivers, all of the UAE’s NMC Healthcare group, had been stranded in their native country due to travel restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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NMC have now flown back dozens of workers in chartered planes to help bring the medical staff back in the UAE’s frontline fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through a chartered eight-seater flight from Mumbai earlier in June, it first flew several lifesavers; a cardiologist, intensivist, critical care and pulmonology expert who, upon arrival, underwent their mandatory quarantine and tests as per national COVID guidelines.

Dr Sanjay Rajdev, a consultant in interventional cardiology at NMC Speciality Hospital, Abu Dhabi, who was one of the passengers on this special chartered flight said: “I find myself incredibly grateful to have been able to come back and save at least two lives. These were two acute heart-attack patients whom I could operate and save.”

In another flight from India, last week, NMC Healthcare got 49 of its staff including 31 medics for its hospitals in Dubai; NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda and NMC Royal Hospital, DIP and NMC Day Surgery center, Deira. All medical professionals are currently under mandatory quarantine and are expected to join soon.

On Tuesday, two special Air Arabia flights from Kochi and Trivandrum also landed at Sharjah bringing back 20 critical care team members of NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah.

Michael Brenden Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare, commended the medics for flying back to the UAE to help the country’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

“The staff wanted to come back and serve their patients in these trying and testing times. Accomplishing this required an incredible amount of coordination and logistics with multiple regulatory approvals.”

“We worked in tandem with the various regulatory and approving bodies and the ease and speed with which the two regulatory bodies of healthcare and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) processed the approvals, was truly incredible.”

After the private sector healthcare groups in the UAE had approached the authorities seeking special permission to fly back their stranded healthcare workers from India, some providers have been given special approvals.

Last year in May, the UAE sent an Emirates aid plane containing seven tons of medical supplies to India to 7,000 medical staff there while DP World organized for medical oxygen whilst India was struggling with 600 percent rise in its demand for the same.

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Next week, NMC Healthcare is planning to get more than 80 more of its staff members back to its hospitals across the emirates.

These doctors, nurses and paramedics will be flying with special regulatory approvals via Cochin, Calicut, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Chennai, the healthcare provider said.

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