The first batch of 88 nurses from India arrived in the UAE to help the country's stretched healthcare professionals amid a surge in the number of COVID-19 infections in the Gulf nation that has crossed 17,000, according to media reports.
The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the UAE reported 624 new cases on Saturday, taking the total number of infections to 17,417.
The number of fatalities reached 185 after 11 deaths were reported on the day.
The nurses, who are from Aster DM Healthcare hospitals in the states of Kerala, Karnataka and Maharashtra, will be put under quarantine for 14 days after which they will be assigned to various field hospitals as per requirement, the Khaleej Times reported.
They arrived on a special flight at the Dubai airport on Saturday India's Ambassador to UAE Pavan Kapoor said that this would further strengthen the long-standing friendship between the two countries.
"India and the UAE are showing how a strategic partnership translates into concrete cooperation on the ground in dealing with this pandemic. Helping a friend in need is the motto of cooperation between our two countries," he said.
According to a report in the Gulf News, the arrival of the nurses was facilitated in a tie-up with Aster DM Healthcare group, with the support from the Indian Consulate and the UAE's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
India's Consul General Vipul said, "It is yet another example of strong India-UAE bilateral ties and reflects deep understanding of problems faced by expatriates as well as UAE nationals in the UAE."
"We feel extremely proud to be a part of this joint initiative in providing relief for COVID-19 patients in different facilities," he said.
Azad Moopen, Founder Chairman and Managing Director of Aster DM Healthcare, said, the group felt duty bound to assist UAE by bringing their medical professionals from India for best possible healthcare delivery to citizens, residents and visitors during the COVID-19 situation.
Humaid Al Qutami, Director-General of the Dubai Health Authority said, "This initiative is testimony to the relationship shared by the two nations and it highlights the close collaboration between the government and the private health sector."
The Indian nurses, who specialise in working in the intensive care unit, said that they are happy to be part of the initiative, the report in Khaleej Times said.
Royin Mathew Thomas, one of the nurses in the delegation, said it is his duty to serve people, and so is happy to help the UAE battle the pandemic as part of this special delegation from India.
Dipika Suraj Khavale had to leave his 2-year-old child back in India to be part of the team.