Healthcare workers from the Indian subcontinent, who have contributed to the UAE's fight against the COVID-19 pandemic and are currently stranded in their home countries due to the flight ban, have urged authorities in the Gulf nation to take steps for their return to the country, according to a media report on Thursday.
The healthcare workers, who mostly hail from India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Bhutan, are currently stranded in their respective countries and unable to return to their work place in the UAE due to the ban on flights caused by the devastating spread of coronavirus cases in the subcontinent, the Khaleej Times reported.
The healthcare workers were on vacation in their home country when the UAE announced a travel ban on passengers from the Indian subcontinent, the report said. The health workers have also said that the UAE government should at least allow those who have been vaccinated.
I'm an employee, a front-line nurse in Dubai, working for a reputed hospital and serving people. I went to India on vacation on April 1st after successfully fighting the second wave of COVID-19 in Dubai. But I'm unable to fly back to Dubai, Sandhya, a registered nurse, was quoted as saying to Khaleej Times in an email. She said she might lose her job if doesn't return to the UAE on time.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.
Healthcare workers are in high demand since the outbreak of the pandemic last year. Many healthcare facility operators expanded their operations and workforce, especially nurses.
Another UAE resident Sanjeev Kumar, who works for a medical centre, is also stuck in India due to the flight ban. Since Kumar received the vaccine in Dubai, he urged the UAE authorities to allow those stranded residents who are vaccinated to return, the report said. He requested that work permit holders should be allowed to return to the UAE because their families survive on their salaries.UAE is among the nations which have taken strictest measures to control the coronavirus spread in the country. Till now it has reported 561,048 confirmed cases and 1,661 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracker.