UAE and IHC supporting technical and relief efforts of WHO in responding to COVID-19.

2 March 2020, Dubai, UAE: The United Arab Emirates has facilitated a mission by the World Health Organisation to deliver medical supplies and equipment to Iran in a bid to help contain the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in the neighbouring country.

The UAE Air Force deployed an aircraft that carried 7.5 tonnes of cargo from Dubai to Iran on Monday afternoon.

Dubai’s International Humanitarian City facilitated the packing and loading of the shipment containing hundreds of thousands of gloves, surgical masks, and other basic medical supplies, that could assist some 15,000 healthcare workers taking care of coronavirus patients in Iran.

The laboratory diagnostic kits in the cargo will help screen thousands of people, further supporting the efforts to control the pandemic.

The UAE is carrying out this important mission in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the International Humanitarian City, IHC, one of the biggest humanitarian hubs in the world, a senior official told Emirates News Agency, WAM.

“The UAE’s geographical location gives us easy access to more than 100 countries that cover two-thirds of the global population. We use this privilege to support people who are affected by any crises. This mission is part of our efforts to support coronavirus patients,” said Sultan Al Shamsi, Assistant Minister for International Development Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, MOFAIC.

“We will continue to extend our support to the people in distress in collaboration with the international community,” he said while overseeing the loading of cargo on to the aircraft at Al Maktoum International Airport.

A senior WHO official said it would not have been possible for the UN health agency to carry out the mission without the support of the UAE Government.

“Iran has reported the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the Middle East. The medical supplies will help equip Iran to contain the virus,” said Dr. Richard Brennan, Acting Regional Emergency Director at the WHO’s regional office in the Eastern Mediterranean.

“The partnership is very important to deal with this situation. We appreciate the UAE’s support for this mission,” he added.