Nearly 35,000 military personnel, contractors and their families have been vaccinated against COVID-19, a senior official at the UAE Armed Forces has said.
Brigadier-General Dr Aisha Al Dhaheri, commander of medical service corps, UAE Armed Forces, said those who received the jabs included military contractors and national services recruits.
The men and women in uniform, she said, have been on the frontlines of the country’s fight against the coronavirus. They helped deliver critical care supplies, transported critically ill patients to hospitals and ensured border security amid the pandemic.
At the Sheikh Shakbout Military City in Abu Dhabi, Dr Dhaheri said, medical personnel in the military worked with civilian doctors and treated thousands of patients. “A special team was set up to expand the bed capacity of the hospital from 300 to 525 … and 135 intensive care units.”
The army also made sure essential medical supplies and supply chains were maintained by leveraging its transportation capacities. “Our air force transported WHO supplies and personnel from Dubai to Teheran to help them combat Covid.”
As security is also a key aspect, the official said the armed forces has been advising and offering its expertise to government officials on issues of national security and ensuring safety and freedom of movement.
Armed forces around the world have worked with governments for logistical support, contact tracing, communication, medical support, collaboration and coordination, and maintenance of public order.
Stressing on the need to leverage defence capabilities to prevent and mitigate non-military threats, she said “our goal is to defeat this pandemic, improve national resilience and cooperate on a global scale to ensure peace, health and security”.