Sign in Register
Posted On: 11 May 2009 10:03 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Arab states free from swine flu: Officials

Paper Boy
Paper Boy
Discuss here!
Start a discussion
No confirmed cases of swine flu were reported from any of the Arab or GCC countries until now, senior officials said yesterday. Dr Ala Atwan, assistant director general for non-communicable diseases and mental health at WHO said yesterday that the WHO was satisfied with the level of preparedness in the Arab and East Mediterranean countries against swine flu. “There were no confirmed cases of swine flu in this region. It shows that the steps these countries have been taking in health sector over the past years have delivered positive results. We are satisfied with their performance,” he told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the regional ministerial meeting on non-communicable diseases which opened here yesterday. Dr Tawfik bin Ahmed Khoja, Secregary-General of the GCC Health Ministers’ Council said the GCC states were so far free from the disease and all of them were fully prepared to face a possible outbreak. “We are following up on the recommendations of the GCC ministerial meeting held in Doha last month. A scientific committee meeting held in Kuwait this week supported the proposal to establish a GCC level committee that will serve as a focal point for coordinating the activities in this regard. This committee be activated very soon,” said Khoja. He added that all GCC countries had secured a reserve of medicines that is sufficient to treat at least 20 percent of their population in case of an outbreak. The Doha meeting had proposed a minimum 10 percent reserve in line with the WHO guidelines. Asked about the risk posed by a floating population in the region, Khoja said, “We are aware of this risk factor and all GCC countries have intensified monitoring in the airports and other points of entry. However, there are no plans to impose a ban on travelling to countries that have reported confirmed cases of swine flu.” He said though more cases of swine flu have been reported from various parts of the world, the disease had not yet assumed the magnitude of a pandemic.