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N95 face masks Image Credit: Reuters

Abu Dhabi: The UAE on Monday dispatched two urgent relief planes carrying onboard 32 tonnes of medical supplies and relief equipment to support Iran’s ongoing efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The supplies include gloves, surgical masks and protective equipment.

It is not the first time that the UAE extends a helping hand to Iran during this crisis. Earlier, the UAE facilitated a mission by the World Health Organisation to deliver medical supplies and equipment to Iran in a bid to help contain the new coronavirus. It is when the UAE Air Force deployed an aircraft that carried 7.5 tonnes of cargo from Dubai to Iran.

Reem Bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation Affairs, said: “The UAE’s support to Iran reflects the humanitarian principles on which our county was founded. Providing assistance to save the lives of those in distress is essential to serve the common human interest. "

"The emerging crisis of the Coronavirus highlighted the effectiveness of the Emirati aid approach. We stand side by side with other countries during tough times," Al Hashemi added.

The UAE has already provided medical supplies to China, including masks and gloves, after the outbreak of the new the disease in Wuhan. It also sent an urgent medical aid shipment to Afghanistan containing 20,000 testing units and equipment to examine thousands of people.