Gulf stands together to tackle swine flu

Joint task force will be established to monitor the situation and keep the virus at bay.

Image Credit:AP
Governments around the world are rushing to curb the spread of swine flu.
Gulf News

Doha: Gulf health ministers on Saturday agreed to set up a unified plan to prevent swine flu in the region and urged citizens to use caution when travelling to virus-hit countries.

The ministers also agreed to establish a joint task force to closely monitor the situation regarding the deadly flu and take necessary measures to keep it at bay, WAM reported.

The decision was taken at Saturday's emergency meeting of Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) health ministers in Doha. Humaid Al Qutami, UAE Minister of Health, said the Gulf region is free from the flu as all states took necessary preventive measures.

"We have been in contact with each other since the outbreak of the fatal flu and have maintained a high level of coordination," Al Qutami said. The ministers also agreed to tighten controls at airports and ensure the availability of vaccines.

No suspected cases of the virus have been reported in the six GCC states. "We should not exaggerate the matter more than it merits," GCC Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Al Attiyah said. "We have agreed to... urge caution with regard to travellers to the areas where the disease has spread," he said, adding that travellers passing through airports in the Gulf will be checked.

Health ministers agreed that any suspected cases should be reported to the joint Gulf health authorities as soon as they emerge, a statement said.

Your comments

I don't think that its a great idea to be standing together. Didnt the WHO say "highly contagious, avoid proximity"...?
Posted: May 03, 2009, 12:31