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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - President Sheikh Khalifa has paid tribute to frontline medical staff fighting Covid-19.
He said the country had worked together to tackle the outbreak and that years of building medical infrastructure ensured the country was well prepared.
Sheikh Khalifa spoke to the military journal Nation Shield as the country marked 44 years since the Armed Forces were founded.
"We have attained great strides in ensuring that our citizens and residents, and visitors to our nation, are provided with the necessary care and protection," he said, in a statement carried by state news agency Wam.
We have attained great strides in ensuring that our citizens and residents, and visitors to our nation, are provided with the necessary care and protection
"In this respect, we are greatly appreciative of our medical and health care services teams as well as teams across the educational sector. They have shown dedication and decisive action towards addressing Covid-19 and protecting the UAE community."
To date, the UAE has 14,730 cases of the virus after 567 more infections were reported on Monday. Almost 3,000 patients have recovered, while 137 have died.
"This pandemic, despite its high cost and losses, has proven to be a successful test for our nation’s institutional structures," Sheikh Khalifa said.
"It has revealed the levels of quality and efficiency of our healthcare systems, which have demonstrated our readiness to address emergencies and crises."
Speaking to the Armed Forces, Sheikh Khalifa welcomed back the "heroic sons" who returned from Yemen.
"You have stuck true to your word in guarding this nation’s pride, safety and dignity, while also committing to the success of the Arab Coalition’s core missions," he said.
Sheikh Khalifa reflected on the early challenges as the seven emirates were brought together and how forming a single armed forces "was one of the most difficult challenges facing our fathers".
"However, with strong will and sound planning, they succeeded in overcoming that challenge, building a resilient and robust army that we are proud of and feel safe because of its presence," he said.
Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, said armed forces day was marked "during the exceptional circumstances facing the entire world".
"We live in a world full of risks and threats on all fronts, which require our armed forces to be ready, efficient and professional," he said in Nation Shield.
Sheikh Mohamed also spoke about the continue threat of terrorism in the region and said the fight against extremism was not over.
"Despite the setbacks suffered by terrorist groups that led to the collapse of their plans, especially Daesh [ISIS] and Al Qaeda, the risks posed by terrorism to the region have not ended, and they still threaten stability and development," he said.
"Terrorist forces are still attempting to revive their plans, exploit the turbulence in some countries in the region, and use this opportunity to grow and rebuild themselves, which require reinforcing regional and international co-operation to address this threat, not only in the region but also in the entire world."
Updated: May 5, 2020 12:12 PM
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