As we were gripped with trepidation, these were the heroes who fronted up and went to battle a pandemic of enormous proportions. And along the way, they put themselves in harm’s way so that residents could be safe.
These doctors and nurses have their own tale to tell after witnessing first-hand, and being amid a dangerous virus.
The Naif operation
Saed Al Salaymeh, nursing director at Burjeel Hospital, narrated about being in Dubai's Naif area, one of the worst affected areas.
“When Naif was closed down, we allocated 18 members of our team to serve in the affected area for screening and taking care of patients. As healthcare providers, we have committed to serving patients. This sense of duty helped us to do our jobs even when we were worried about carrying the infection home to our families,” said Al Salaymeh, who was infected by the virus along with his family. They quarantined and managed to battle the virus.
Together in the fight
Dr. Saheer Sainalabdeen, specialist pulmonologist/respiratory medicine at Medeor Hospital, said: “I saw my first Covid case in March 2020 and have treated over 1,000 patients since then. Being a frontline worker during this public health emergency meant making many sacrifices, like staying away from my family. Today, I am happy that such sacrifices by frontliners have played a role in curbing this illness.
“The authorities not only laid out a clear protocol in the early days of the pandemic, but they also made contingency plans for every scenario. A swift and systematic vaccination campaign for all the residents of the country made a remarkable difference. Another factor that helped limit the pandemic is the socially responsible population here that has adhered to protocols from the beginning. The way everyone came together in the fight against the pandemic has helped us emerge successfully from this crisis,” he added.