Abu Dhabi/Dubai: UAE is fully prepared for any potential surge in coronavirus cases and has plans in place for all scenarios, officials told Gulf News on Wednesday.
“The Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) has been converted into a field hospital with a capacity to treat up to 3,000 COVID-19 patients and it will be partially open with a capacity of 1,000 beds on Thursday,” an officials said.
The official added the massive field hospital will be operational in phases as need arises.
He said a Dubai-based private group has set up an 800-bed hospital. “It is working on another 800 beds,” the official said.
Dubai is building two field hospitals that will be able to cater to “thousands” of coronavirus patients, as a precaution against a potential surge in cases.
Humaid Al Qutami, Director General of Dubai Health Authority, said the emirate had comprehensive plans in place for “all scenarios” and was well prepared, should the number of COVID-19 cases drastically increase.
Al Qutami said hospitals in Dubai currently had between 4,000 to 5,000 beds available for coronavirus patients but authorities were “prepared to help 5,000, 10,000 or, God forbid, more.”
Al Qatami said Dubai had already increased its hospital capacity in preparation for the current outbreak but that the emirate was also doing something none of the (countries) in the rest of the world was doing -- putting up isolated patients in five-star hotels.
Al Qutami said these hotels could also be converted into hospitals, if needed, to increase the emirate’s bed capacity.
“When it comes to the increase of hospital surge capacity, we are prepared for all scenarios,” he said.
Abu Dhabi scenario
In Abu Dhabi, Yas Island’s hotels are ready to receive isolated cases and can be converted into field hospitals if necessary.
Currently, COVID-19 patients are treated at the Shaikh Khalifa Medical City and Al Rahba Hospital.
Moreover, a group of hotels has donated more than 1,000 rooms to the Abu Dhabi Government to support its fight against the spread of coronavirus.
The rooms were donated to Ma’an’s “Together we are Good” programme, which encourages businesses and members of the public to contribute anything they can to support health workers.
Hotels that donated rooms and suites include the Millennium Group, Millennium Capital Gate, Royal Rose, City Seasons, Park Rotana, Ayla in Al Ain.
The International Academic School also contributed classrooms.
The rooms will be used by medical personnel and support staff who are on standby for urgent cases and need a place to isolate themselves away from their families.
Companies have also offered programmes and specialised skills to help people who have been harmed by the virus.
Bin Ham Group offered hotel rooms including free meals and room service for medical staff.
Emirates Humanitarian City
Dr Saif Jumaa Al Dhaheri, Director of Safety and Prevention at the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority, NCEMA, said that the Emirates Humanitarian City, which received evacuees from China, was fit out with all necessary equipment and furnishings to ensure that individuals are provided with a comfortable environment, while receiving the best medical care possible.
Dr Al Dhaheri said that the humanitarian city complex can accommodate hundreds of families, ensuring their safety, privacy and security.
The Emirates Humanitarian City has been set up as per the highest of standards to facilitate high-quality care for individuals admitted, ensuring their privacy and dignity are maintained throughout their stay. Entertainment facilities - both indoor and outdoor - are provided for evacuees. Medicines, food and produce, and other essential items is also provided.
Across the emirates
In Al Ain, Al Ain Exhibition Centre has also been turned into a field hospital.
In Ras Al Khaimah, Ras Al Khaimah Medical Centre and Obaidullah Hospital have been turned into field hospitals. Four 5-star hotels are receiving isolated patients an dcan be converted into field hospital if necessary.
In Fujairah, the Fujairah Exhibition Centre has been turned into a field hospital and other hotels are ready to be turned into hospitals if needed.
In Ajman, a Health Ministry’s hospital is also receiving COVID-19 patients.