Ayesha Sultana from Hyderabad was returning home on Tuesday when she was stopped by the police near the Al Mulla Plaza on the Dubai-Sharjah highway. She was driving home to Sharjah after finishing her shift at the Al Ahli Screening centre in Dubai, Khaleej Times reported.
"I did panic a bit and I was focused on getting my work permit and other documents to prove I am a doctor. But to my surprise, the policemen refused to check my documents and instead gave me a salute and said I can go," Sultana told the newspaper.
"This is the best reward you can get as a doctor. As someone who grew up in UAE, this is an unforgettable day for me. This gesture from Dubai police means a lot to me and other healthcare workers around the world. This shows their respect to medics."
Taking to Twitter, Sultana said, "As a UAE resident, this is the biggest day of my life THANKYOU."
In the same thread, she said she was speechless and "had tears in my eyes". Thanking the policeman, she said, "I'm blessed to be in the UAE and serve the people here."
Sultana, who is born and brought up in the UAE said she least expected she would be dealing with a pandemic when she passed out of the Dubai Medical College in February this year. "After finishing internship with DHA, I was preparing for my MD exams when I was called by the Health Authority to join in the fight against coronavirus."
She said her family was concerned but she convinced them that it was her call of duty. "That is the whole point of being a doctor. This is my home and I want to do my best in helping UAE fight the pandemic. We see around 200 to 300 people every day - both with and without symptoms. It is very rewarding and I am all the more committed to continue doing my job," added the doctor.
There is massive respect for healthcare workers in the UAE, who are hailed as the "first line of defence against COVID-19".
Taking to Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed had invited everyone to thank doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospital administrators with #ThankYouHeroes.
Today, I chaired a cabinet meeting where we followed up on the latest developments and impact of the global COVID-19 on health, education and economic sectors of the UAE. We hosted frontline workers to thank them for their relentless efforts against the pandemic. pic.twitter.com/i0DzsCpv13— HH Sheikh Mohammed (@HHShkMohd) April 21, 2020
During the National Sterilisation Programme hours, residents express their support for the medical community by clapping, cheering and singing the national anthem from their balconies.
A 'Together We Chant for UAE' initiative launched earlier this month encourages residents to sing the UAE national anthem from their balconies on Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 pm (local time). The initiative is an appreciation for the frontline workers, everyone in the health sector, as well as the leadership of the UAE.