73 doctors, nurses return to UAE from India in special Emirates flights

Among the total 250 medical staff from Aster hospitals and clinics, who are stranded in India due to the flight ban on April 25 this year, this was the first batch of doctors, nurses and paramedics who were able to return.

New Delhi: Around 73 doctors, nurses stuck in India were allowed to travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with special approval from Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Aster DM foundation said on Thursday.

“After the green signal given by DHA, a total of 73 health workers split into two groups left for the UAE on Wednesday,” the group said in a press release.

Among the total 250 medical staff from Aster hospitals and clinics, who are stranded in India due to the flight ban, this was the first batch of doctors, nurses, and paramedics who were able to return.

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In order to travel safely with all COVID safety measures in place, the group of 73 people was split into two parts and transported on two special Emirates flights that landed at Dubai International Airport in the early hours of Wednesday.

“Our healthcare professionals have travelled from different parts of India — Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Maharashtra, Hyderabad, Madhya Pradesh to be present at Cochin and Bengaluru [airports] on 7 July for their international flights departing from India to UAE,” Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO of Aster hospitals and clinics, UAE said in a release.

“We express our heartfelt gratitude to Dubai Government, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Airport Authority, and Emirates Airlines for all the support extended to Aster in making this arrangement possible for us. It was critical for our staff to come back and fill the gaps across the network of hospitals in Dubai during this pandemic,” he added.

The suspension of passengers arriving from India was first announced by the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) on April 24 for a period of 10 days, subject to extension. Then, authorities said on May 5 that the suspension of entry for travelers from India would be indefinite.

On June 19, Dubai’s supreme committee for crisis and disaster management announced new protocols allowing the safe resumption of travel from India to Dubai on June 23. However, flight operations have not yet resumed.

Moreover, Emirates, the main carrier in Dubai, has informed its passengers on social media that flights from India to Dubai are still suspended for the time being.

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