In one case, they made it a point to fulfil a man’s wish of having a photo of his father’s grave.
In Dubai, volunteers go above and beyond the call of duty to provide every kind of support in the time of Covid-19. But many do not know that in the city, when someone dies of Covid, the team does everything to offer comfort to grieving families.
Once, volunteers completely managed the funeral of a woman who died from the virus at a private hospital, upon the request of her family. In another case, they fulfilled a man’s wish of seeing a photo of his father’s grave. At times, they offer not only emotional support but financial aid, too. Countless messages of appreciation have poured in for the team from different organisations, including a note of gratitude from the Catholic community in the UAE.
For the Dubai Government’s volunteer team, it is a priority to speed up procedures that need to be followed when a person dies of Covid. In coordination with local and federal entities, the team ensures all post-mortality protocols are rigorously followed in order to reduce the burden on the family of the victim during a time of mourning.
Once a Covid death is reported, the volunteer team establishes contact with the deceased individual’s relatives. Moral and financial support is immediately extended to families of different cultures and faiths. Procedures related to the funeral are also expedited.
“I consider my participation in the volunteer team as part of my national duty,” said Ahmed Huraimel, who leads the volunteer team. “Our leadership has taught us the importance of helping those in need. The team’s mission is to ensure protection, dignity and respect for the deceased and their families regardless of their faith and help them expedite funeral procedures according to approved protocols.”
Formed at an early stage of the pandemic, the team comprised volunteers from different government entities in the emirate — from the Dubai Police to the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Courts, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Future Foundation, Dubai Municipality and Dubai Public Prosecution.
Another example of the UAE’s humanitarian spirit, the volunteers’ initiatives are part of several efforts to support people affected by the pandemic.
“The team is composed of remarkable committed volunteers who are determined to demonstrate the humanitarian values of the UAE through initiatives on the ground,” said Huraimel, who is also the advisor for the ‘Dubai The Model Centre’ initiative of the General Secretariat of The Executive Council of Dubai.
“The team’s efforts add to Dubai’s standing in the global community as a city and society steadfastly committed to humanitarian and inclusive values.”
Since its establishment, the team has made several recommendations to support the families of Covid-19 victims. In collaboration with the Dubai Municipality, it has trained and qualified people to deal with deceased women and provided safety training for non-Muslims. Furthermore, in collaboration with the Red Crescent Authority in Dubai and other charitable societies, the team launched food distribution drives in the emirate during the period of intensified movement restrictions last year.