GCC gears up to fight out Ebola threat

August 12, 2014 - 2:32:06 am

DOHA: The GCC countries will jointly combat any possible threat from the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD). 

Top GCC health officials will meet tomorrow in Riyadh to take stock of the situation in the region and put in place fool-proof precautionary measures against the killer-virus.

The meeting will be attended by over 26 officials and is expected to appeal the member countries to stop issuing visas to the people from the four countries affected by EVD. 

The meeting will also urge the member states to put in place strict precautionary measures at their ports and airports. Trained officials will be deployed to handle transit passengers at airports, Al sharq reported yesterday.

The meeting will also tackle EVD prevention and treatment and deal with the infected people, said Dr Tawfiq bin Ahmed Khoja, Director-General, Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers Council, Kuwait news agency KUNA reported.

The Riyadh session is expected to mull precautionary measures to protect people travelling to and working in the Ebola-hit countries.

It will discuss producing pamphlets to raise awareness, the nature of Ebola as a highly infectious disease, history of the current outbreak, symptoms, transmission modes as well as advice on personal safety and hygiene and ways to prevent exposure to the virus.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health (SCH) held a meeting of government and private agencies and discussed ways to respond in the event of any emergency. 

Top officials from Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar Airways, medical and ambulance services and other government and private agencies attended.

Experts assessed the level of risks Ebola represents and discussed procedures to handle any suspected cases. 

They also highlighted the importance of providing safety tips to health staff expected to directly deal with suspected cases. 

The meeting decided to launch an intensive awareness campaign on Ebola. Departments expressed commitment to carry out their roles in combating the threat and agreed on how to jointly implement precautionary measures.

The meeting urged people to avoid travelling to the countries affected by Ebola virus and stressed the need for updating the public on any new developments regarding the virus attack and measures taken at different levels. 

Last Saturday, the SCH had announced that it was well-prepared to face any possible threat from Ebola virus. 

It had also warned people against visiting Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea and Nigeria. The travel alert will continue until the situation improves. The SCH confirmed that until now no suspected or infected cases had been reported in Qatar.

THE PENINSULA

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