In a move to safeguard the paramedic staff from the novel coronavirus pandemic, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has started using single-patient isolation and transport system called EpiShuttles. As per the Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services, the UAE is facilitating the transfer of severe cases of COVID-19 with EpiShuttles.

The decision was taken to ensure maximum protection for doctors, nurses and the rest of the medical staff as they are exposed to the fatal virus all day long. With this, the UAE has also become the first country in the region to incorporate the negative pressure isolation EpiShuttles in its emergency services.

UAE using EpiShuttles
UAE using EpiShuttlesTwitter

In the past few days, several healthcare workers from across the globe have contracted COVID-19 while treating infected patients.

What exactly is an EpiShuttle?

An EpiShuttle is a patient transport unit originally designed to aid the safe transportation of highly infectious soldiers on the battlefield. Its main purpose is to protect the environment from a patient suffering from a highly-contagious disease or to shield a vulnerable patient from a contaminated environment.

Developed with inputs from medics, patients and other clinical professionals, EpiShuttles have previously been used during the Ebola epidemic as well.

UAE intensifies coronavirus fight

Stepping up efforts to combat the coronavirus outbreak, Dubai's COVID-19 Command and Control Center announced the country's maiden full genome sequencing of the deadly virus. Researchers at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences (MBRU) performed the successful sequencing of the novel coronavirus from a patient.

Coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus pandemicIANS

Providing medical aid to the UAE in such trying times, India recently sent 5.5 million pills of hydroxychloroquine, a medicine found to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19.

"Under the guidance of UAE leadership, @UAEembassyIndia succeeded in obtaining the approval of the Indian government to export adequate quantities of hydroxychloroquine to UAE," the UAE Embassy in New Delhi informed on Twitter.

With 434 fresh cases of COVID-19 being reported on Monday, April 20, the total count of the UAE has gone past the 7,000-mark. Of the total number of infected persons, more than 1,300 have recovered while 43 have died.