Abu Dhabi police chief who contracted Covid-19 reveals crisis action in capital

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Consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis iste natus error sit voluptatem accusantium doloremque laudantium, totam rem aperiam, eaque ipsa quae ab illo inventore veritatis.” byline=”staff reporter” caption=”Colonel Mohammed Al Khoury, Deputy of the Abu Dhabi Police Department.” credits=”SUPPLIED”]

Abu Dhabi Police chief who contracted Covid-19 reveals crisis action in capital

 

ABU DHABI – A senior Abu Dhabi police official who contracted Covid-19 has revealed how the UAE capital sprung into action to contain Covid-19 and his own battle with the virus.

Colonel Mohammed Al Khoury, Deputy of the Capital Police Department, said tacking the virus would “define the next six months of his life”.

Al Khoury said it was early in the morning in February when the chief of Abu Dhabi Police called him and four others for a “mission” at the crisis management centre.

Al Khoury, who received 23 medals in nearly five years in the police force, said that Major General Maktoum Ali Al Sharifi, Director General of Abu Dhabi Police, called for the urgent meeting on “Abu Dhabi’s fast-paced response to keeping the public safe from what has become the world’s biggest public health crisis.”

“When I arrived at the police headquarters it was 8am. General Maktoum had called five people in and I was one of them. We were instructed to create a task force to work on the mission and everything was immediate. I left that night at midnight and from February until August, I worked from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week,” he said.

The group was told that two Italian cyclists competing in the UAE Tour held in Abu Dhabi had tested positive for Covid-19. One of the first tasks was to turn hotels into quarantine centres.

“We had to bring locals safely back to the country from abroad and quarantine them. People were being quarantined in 5-star hotels – everybody had their role to play in fighting the virus,” said Al Khoury.

Three months later, Al Khoury tested positive for Covid-19 in May. “In the middle of all this, I tested positive,” he said.

He called it a “good learning experience” as he stayed in the quarantine centre for 14 days.

“Being in the center allowed me to see first-hand how our people were working, how we were managing, how we talked to patients. I was delighted to receive calls from senior government officials and my family members,” he said.

Contracting Covid-19 was not the biggest challenge for the police official. That came in the form of the personal sacrifice of seeing little of his five children and family for a long period at the start of the pandemic.

“The first two months, I didn’t see my family – I would work and get home late and see my wife for five minutes then I had to go to sleep,” he said.

Al Khoury praised Abu Dhabi residents for their response to government protocols to tackle Covid-19.

“Most of the people in Abu Dhabi are educated and understand their responsibility in protecting the safety of their lives, their children and their colleagues,” he said. “So, most of them were onboard with the measures we were taking,” he said.

“Everybody had a responsibility. For example, let’s take food. Deliveries never stopped; they were taking food everywhere all the time. We were giving passes to people working in health, delivery, shipping – we didn’t stop them at all. Despite this, we had to make some tough decisions – people were working from home, people were sick, we had to close shops and malls,” he recounted.

Al Khoury also praised the work of the Frontline Heroes Office, which recognizes, celebrates and supports those who put themselves on the frontline in times of need in service of us all.

“We are encouraging people to be heroes,” he said. “So, it is important to lead by example and show everybody in our service that it is crucial they play their part.” ICA/Expat Media


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