The UAE’s decision to fly in Arab nationals stranded in the coronavirus epicentre of Hubei province in China is a bold move that should be commended. Since the outbreak of the deadly virus last year, this is perhaps the first time a country is evacuating foreign nationals from China and hosting them in a world-class safe and secure health facility.
China has placed millions of people under a preventive lockdown to contain the virus and several countries have airlifted their citizens since last month from Hubei province. However, taking a proactive approach, the UAE on Wednesday said it has evacuated 215 nationals of neighbouring Arab countries.
Many countries in the region lack resources and health infrastructure required to contain the virus. Individuals returning from outbreak cities in China to their home countries in the region with poor monitoring and screening mechanism can have serious consequences
They will stay in a purpose-built medical facility in the Emirates Humanitarian City which is equipped to provide preventive medical care and monitoring. The complex can accommodate hundreds of families.
At a time when countries around the world are placing border controls, this gesture of hosting the evacuees demonstrates the UAE’s confidence in its robust health care sector.
It also highlights the country’s humanitarian aid and medical care capabilities during times of a global crisis. The government has roped in resources from public and private sector for this ambitious project.
The city, set up within days of the decision by the leadership, will ensure the privacy of the individuals. Also, a special preventive health centre has been set up at Emirates Humanitarian City to receive individuals who will be placed under a 14-day quarantine, the average incubation period of the Covid-19 virus.
After their arrival in the UAE, initial medical and laboratory tests will be carried out before they are transferred to the preventive care centre.
By hosting the Hubei evacuees, the UAE is fulfilling a big responsibility of taking the lead to check the spread of virus regionally. The UAE has modern health care infrastructure with protocols and processes in place to fight the virus. But the country is also aware that the war against this deadly infection cannot be fought in isolation.
Many countries in the region lack resources and health infrastructure required to contain the virus. Individuals returning from outbreak cities in China to their home countries in the region with poor monitoring and screening mechanism can have serious consequences.
Therefore, the UAE’s decision to host them by creating a health care and monitoring facility will go a long to check the spread of the virus in the region.