Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised healthcare workers in the fight against the global pandemic. Image Credit: Twitter/@HHShkMohd

Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, praised the hard work and dedication of UAE-based doctors and nurses in the fight against the coronavirus COVID-19.

In a telephone call on Monday, which went viral on UAE social networking sites, Sheikh Mohammed commended the efforts of healthcare workers as he carried out his daily follow-up on COVID-19 cases in the country.

The telephone call was between the Ruler of Dubai and Dr Sarah Kazem, head of the Emergency Department at Dubai Health Authority (DHA).

"We are proud of you ... proud of all the doctors, nurses, paramedics, and administrators in the health sector," Sheikh Mohammed can be heard saying. "You are the front line in our nation’s defence... the task you are undertaking is a great one."

Sheikh Mohamed pointed out that the fight against the coronavirus outbreak has not ended just yet, and that the leaders of the nation are standing behind all medical and health teams who are responding to the pandemic.

“We are ready to provide whatever necessary to ensure the safety of people and the nation," said Sheikh Mohammed.

During the telephone conversation, Dr Kazem presented a brief report on the activities of the Emergency Department, with teams working round the clock, as they continue to monitor global developments in the spread of the coronavirus, and its impact.

She also stressed that the UAE’s health sector is fully equipped to address any emergencies.

During the conversation, Dr Kazem emphasized how teams at the emergency centre are ready to provide all kinds of medical services and supplies to meet the needs of the public. She also noted that hospitals have increased the number of hospital beds and critical care facilities to tackle and contain any emerging situation.

On early Monday, the Ministry of Health and Prevention and the National Emergency and Crisis and Disasters Management (NECDM) issued a decision to close all commercial centres, and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetable markets for a renewable period of two weeks.

Grocery stores and pharmacies are excluded, subject to review and evaluation.

According to the decision, restaurants will not be allowed to receive customers. Instead, their services will be limited to home deliveries only.

In a joint statement, the Ministry of Interior and the NECDM Authority urged the public to stay at home unless it's absolutely necessary to get essential supplies, such as food and medicine, or perform essential jobs.

The two authorities also called on UAE citizens, residents, visitors and all those living in the nation, to comply with the instructions issued by the competent health and security departments, to practice social distancing and to avoiding crowded areas.

Residents were further cautioned to use their own private cars with a maximum of three individuals per vehicle.