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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - A hospital built by the UAE has treated more than 10,000 Covid-19 patients in Pakistan.
A flagship facility for the armed forces, the Pak Emirates Military hospital in Rawalpindi, northern Pakistan has proved vital to the country's efforts to contain the pandemic in recent weeks.
Maj Gen Salman Saleem, director of hospital, said staff have been able to support patients from across the country since it was designated a Covid-19 management centre.
“We have had the capacity to take in all kinds of patients from those requiring ward care to specialized care to high dependency and critical care including ventilator support,” he told Wam news agency.
“On behalf of the government of Pakistan and the armed forces, I would like to thank the brotherly country of UAE. We deeply appreciate the support extended by the royal family and the government.
"It (hospital) has gone a long way in improving patient care in the armed forces and now it has proved to a very useful centre in management of Covid-19.”
The $108 million hospital was built in 2013 as part of development projects carried out by the UAE.
Brig Dr Shazia Nisar, head of the pathology and epidemiology department, said the facility had an adequate number of ventilators and was able to provide effective treatment for thousands of Covid-19 patients.
“It was a challenging situation for all of us,” she said.
“It is great infrastructure that has helped combat the disease.”
Abdullah Al Ghafli, director of the UAE's Pakistan Assistance Programme, described the hospital as a key project.
“The UAE leadership has shown keen interest in supporting several humanitarian initiatives in Pakistan in many developmental areas,” he said.
The 1,400-bed hospital can handle between 6,000 to 9,000 patients daily in outpatient, specialty clinics, emergency units, pharmacies, laboratories and the blood bank.
The hospital was funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.
It was built seven years ago under the directives of President Sheikh Khalifa, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs.
The strong ties between the Emirates and Pakistan have been strengthened further during the Covid-19 global health crisis.
As part of efforts to reach supplies to nations in need across the world, the UAE has sent three shipments of medical aid to Pakistan over the past three months weighing 18.3 tonnes and 20,000 testing devices for more than 18,000 medical staff.
Authorities in both countries have also worked closely together to ensure thousands of Pakistanis stuck in the Emirates when air travel restrictions were brought into force have been able to return home.
The UAE-Pakistan repatriation mission was concluded in June, with more than 60,000 Pakistani citizens returning to their homeland since March.
The majority of those who registered for repatriation flights were job seekers on visit visas, residents who had lost their jobs or those with medical or family emergencies.
Updated: July 26, 2020 02:47 PM
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