Dubai: Healthcare professionals of UAE-based Zulekha Hospital are returning to Dubai from India, where they were stranded, under special permission from the UAE government and Dubai Health Authority (DHA), the hospital said on Monday.
The private hospital’s doctors and nurses had travelled to India on holiday but were unable to return due to the suspension of India-UAE flights owing to the COVID-19 situation in India.
The first batch arrived on July 9 followed by more on June 10 and 12, returning from Kochi, Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi. More than 95 staff have arrived along with their children. Another batch is scheduled to land on Wednesday. All staff travelled on Emirates airlines.
Thanks to the UAE
Nurse Bilinda Lavisha Dcruz, one of those returning from India, said: “We have been waiting to get back to UAE and get to work. As a nurse it is very crucial for me to be there when patients need us the most. I am happy I did not lose the job due to my prolonged absence in these unprecedented times, thanks to the consideration of everyone who helped us in getting back.”
Taher Shams, managing director, Zulekha Healthcare Group, said: “Thanks to the understanding and support of the DHA and other authorities who have helped us fly our employees back to UAE. In these difficult times, we are keen to sustain the strength of the UAE healthcare system that has been built by the contributions of every healthcare worker in this country. All healthcare providers including us are grateful and very much appreciating this vital support given to these medics at this point.”
Vijaya Sen, the group’s senior director for human resources, said: “The special permission to fly back was a big relief to our staffs who were stranded for months and were waiting to hear from us. This news brought in the much awaited joy and excitement to come back to their second home [the UAE]. Our effective communication and close coordination with health authorities, airlines and staff has eased their travel back to UAE.”
Sen added: “We made sure all our staffs comply with medical test requirements before boarding the flight. We arranged their accommodation for home quarantine and our infection control team is ensuring their health records are timely monitored. DHA’s initiative has ensured healthcare providers do not to lose their experienced resources in these turbulent times.”