Abu Dhabi: The UAE has banned the import and sale of pork in the country as a precautionary measure against swine flu, a senior official told Gulf News on Wednesday.

General Secretariat of Municipalities [GSM] issued a circular on Monday banning import and sale of all types of pork in the country, Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Manager of Communication and Information Department at Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) said.

The ban covers cooking the pork in hotels [for non Muslims], he added.

GSM had already banned import of pork from Mexico and the US on Sunday, but extended it to a blanket ban, considering the alarming situation, Al Reyaysa said.

"Only two outlets in Abu Dhabi have the license to sell pork (for non-Muslims) and our inspectors have already informed them to remove the pork from the shelves," the official said.

UAE Ministry explores precautionary measures

A source from the Ministry of Health, who requested to remain anonymous, told Gulf News over the phone that the ministry is currently in talks with a technical group regarding precautionary plans and measures that should be practiced among hospitals and between people.

"There is no specific vaccination or drug one can take to prevent swine flu, but there are technical procedures that should be put in place, that's why we contacted a technical team to help us prevent the condition from reaching the UAE."
The World Health Organization (WHO) even though has no power to enforce any policies on different countries across the world with regards to swine flu, advises that ministries undergo their own pandemic flu plans.

The WHO also recommends that vaccine makers keep making seasonal flu vaccine instead of switching over to a new one that matches the swine flu strain, but it urged them to start the process of picking a pandemic strain, weakening it and making large batches of it, which could take six months.

- By Dina El Shammaa, Staff Reporter

Your comments

Ban is the best solution. Whether its imported frozen or alive, there could always be a chance even at 0.01%.
From A Reader
Posted: April 30, 2009, 12:45