Carlos Alvarado, President of Costa Rica, personally welcomed the aid plane sent to Costa Rica as part of the United Arab Emirate’s (UAE) efforts to help various countries around the world in containing the spread of COVID-19.
Accompanying President Alvarado in receiving the Etihad Airways flight was the ambassador of the United Arab Emirates in Costa Rica, Jumaa Rashed Khamis Ahmed Alremeithi; the Foreign Minister of Costa Rica, Rodolfo Solano Quirós; the executive president of the Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS), Dr. Román Macaya; and the executive director of the National Emergency Commission (CNE), Yamilette Mata.
Alvarado expressed his deep thanks to His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for the support in providing medical supplies to cope with the virus, and expressed his appreciation to the UAE government and people of the UAE for the repatriation of Costa Rican citizens.
The flight, that arrived at the Juan Santamaria International airport (SJO) on, Friday, June 12, carried 9 metric tons of medical supplies and 10,000 testing kits offered to Costa Rica to bolster the country’s efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The aid will assist approximately 9,000 medical professionals as they work to contain the virus.
Commenting on the aid delivery, the UAE Ambassador stated: “Thanks to the support and guidance of the leadership of our two countries, bilateral relations have witnessed a quantum leap. This contributed to building a strategic partnership and led to enhanced cooperation, trade, and development. In this context, medical assistance has been provided to Costa Rica, confirming the strength and durability of these relations.”
The ambassador added: “The UAE is always keen to stand by brotherly and friendly countries and help medical teams that are among the most vulnerable to the pandemic.”
Costa Rica thanks the Crown Prince of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi @MohamedBinZayed for the donation of supplies and medical equipment to strengthen our fight against COVID-19. We will continue to work in cooperation, trade, and investment attraction for our nations welfare 🇦🇪🇨🇷
— Carlos Alvarado Quesada (@CarlosAlvQ) June 12, 2020
For his part, CCSS president thanked the United Arab Emirates government for a generous donation and assured that these inputs will go directly to the protection of health personnel who bravely face the pandemic by COVID-19.
“As an institution, we have made an extraordinary effort to supply our personnel with all the personal protective equipment required, and with this contribution we receive today, that effort is strengthened, for the benefit of workers and the population throughout the country,” said Macaya.
Since the beginning of the emergency, the CCSS has distributed 2.1 million surgical masks, 78 628 gowns, 73 239 N95 respirators, 10 500 caps, 10 951 safety glasses, and 10,500 face shields to its units nationwide.
The Friday morning flight also allowed the return of six Costa Ricans, two of whom are minors, and, as part of the cabin crew, the only two Costa Ricans who worked as flight attendants for Etihad Airways were listed. The aircraft left Costa Rica for its return to Abu Dhabi this Saturday morning, June 13.
The cooperation of the United Arab Emirates is part of the multiple and vigorous efforts that, as a result of the pandemic by COVID-19, have been undertaken by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which up to now total the equivalent of US$7,785,500, both in donations of medical supplies and medical supplies, financial resources, as well as in the exchange of experiences and best practices.
Costa Rica and the United Arab Emirates established diplomatic relations in 2010 and have managed to build a solid strategic relationship of friendship and cooperation.
The UAE aid is unlike the donation by China in April that cost the CCSS US$1.2 million dollars to hire an airplane to haul the supplies to the country.
To date, the UAE has responded to the COVID-19 crisis by providing globally over 904 metric tons of aid, supporting more than 904,000 medical professionals in the process.