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INTERNATIONAL ISSUES - SARS

Travel ban on states hit by SARS lifted

Posted on 09/07/2003

The Ministry of Health has issued a circular to airports and health authorities in the country regarding lifting of ban on travel to countries affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The decision came in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s travel recommendations which have removed countries affected by the deadly virus from its travel advisory list. Dr Mahmoud Fekri, Assistant Under-Secretary for Preventive Medicine Department told Khaleej Times yesterday, that the ...  >>MORE

Ministry issues SARS circular for schools

Posted on 12/06/2003

The Ministry of Education and Youth has issued a circular for all the private and public schools in the country this week regarding the health of children. According to the circular all school children, of all nationalities, going for a vacation to the countries affected by SARS, should undergo a medical check-up at the airport through which they are re-entering the UAE, and the results should be reflected in their passports. When the children register in their schools for the new academic ...  >>MORE

Airport to step up SARS vigil

Posted on 12/06/2003

Precautionary measures against the SARS virus will be increased and run throughout the summer at Abu Dhabi International Airport, despite the fact no case to date has been registered in the country, an official of the Civil Aviation said here yesterday. "We intend to keep the measures in place as long as it is necessary for the safety of UAE residents. We are planning to increase the equipment at the airports for screening passengers. We must remain vigilant to protect our citizens," said ...  >>MORE

Visitors from Singapore exempted from SARS test

Posted on 10/06/2003

The Ministry of Health has confirmed that the UAE is free of any suspected SARS case. Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Preventive Medicine Affairs Dr Mahmoud Fikri said the ministry was in constant contact with the World Health Organisation and international health organisations to follow up the developments on the disease worldwide. The ministry issued a circular to all authorities concerned to stop examining those coming from Singapore after the country was lifted from ...  >>MORE

GCC takes required measures against SARS: Madfa

Posted on 22/05/2003

Geneva - The Gulf Cooperation Council countries have taken all necessary precautions to prevent penetration of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), emphasised the UAE health Minister yesterday. By doing so, Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa said, the GCC had kept countries in the region off the reach of the fatal virus. 'Intensive individual, national, regional and global efforts are desperately needed to provide health for all, and fight illness, poverty, famine and unemployment, Al Madfa ...  >>MORE

Authorities follow criteria set by WHO on SARS

Posted on 15/05/2003

For a person to be classified as a suspected case of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, would have to come not more than 10 days ago from an endemic area with local chains of transmission and developed symptoms of the disease. Anyone showing symptoms after a lapse of the 10-day period is not treated as a suspect and a report of the case is not filed with the UAE Ministry of Health, according to a health official. Dr. Mahmoud Fikri, Assistant Under Secretary for Preventive Medicine at ...  >>MORE

Flu patients must undergo blood tests

Posted on 13/05/2003

Anybody arriving in hospitals with flu symptoms must undergo a blood test, as part of the anti-SARS plan by the General Authority for Health Services (GAHS). The Abu Dhabi health authorities yesterday called for a national anti-SARS strategy to face any eventual global epidemic. GAHS has imported new laboratory equipment to be installed in hospitals to test suspected SARS cases. Ahmed Al Rumaithi, Director of the Authority, said the new equipment will enhance preventive measures against SARS ...  >>MORE

Website launched to update public

Posted on 12/05/2003

Health authorities yesterday launched a new website to update the public on news about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). By logging into http://www.sars.gahs.ae the public will find useful information about the disease, preventive measures undertaken throughout the country and constant update on the international developments. The site also displays the emergency number 02 6391633, established by the General ...  >>MORE

SARS-related visa ban denied

Posted on 12/05/2003

The Minister of Health yesterday denied that the UAE is planning to stop issuing visas to people coming from countries that have reported cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). "We are not going to ban flights coming from SARS infected countries and we are not going to ban issuing visas to people from those countries," he said. Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa also assured that the UAE is SARS-free. "Not a single case of SARS has been reported," he said, adding that the health ...  >>MORE

Strategy to prevent SARS entry

Posted on 05/05/2003

The UAE increased its level of preparedness to fight SARS with a joint national committee issuing a decree to set up a SARS Management Plan. It also asked for a reduction in the number of visit visas issued and the import of house servants from countries affected by the killer disease. The decree was issued by the Abu Dhabi General Authority for Health Services (GAHS) Chairman, Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, following a meeting of the Joint Special Committee for Fighting SARS yesterday. The ...  >>MORE

Medical staff briefed on handling SARS cases

Posted on 04/05/2003

Officials at the Ministry of Health (MoH) said here yesterday that the country is free from SARS, and its Preventive Medicine Department held a lecture to update local medical staff on the latest international developments on the disease. Speaking to the press Dr Mahmoud Fikri, Undersecretary of the department, said that no SARS cases have been reported to date and healthcare units at entry ports continue to be vigilant and are enforcing preventive measures. About a 100 physicians, nurses, ...  >>MORE

Stringent measures in place to check entry of SARS

Posted on 03/05/2003

While the Ministry of Health (MoH) is considering developing an effective mechanism to deny entry to people coming from SARS-stricken zone into the UAE, stringent safety check-ups have been adopted at the airport for people coming from SARS-affected regions. A senior official at the MoH has said that studies are under way to devise an effective mechanism for implementing the ban adopted by the ministry as a precautionary measure, in accordance with the guidelines of the WHO, to check the ...  >>MORE

UAE is SARS-free: Mohammed Al Qasimi

Posted on 03/05/2003

Sheikh Mohammed bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Assistant Under Secretary of Ministry of Health and Director of Sharjah Medical Zone said here today that the UAE has continued to be free of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS. He said that since the outbreak of the disease, health authorities in the country stationed medical teams at all the country's airports to monitor passengers arriving from SARS-infested countries that had been declared by the WHO. Preventive measures adopted also included ...  >>MORE

Expat workers to be tested for virus

Posted on 01/05/2003

Matar Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, said the ministry will cooperate with the Ministry of Health in implementing measures to keep the UAE free from SARS."All expatriate workers are tested for infectious diseases before they are given their visas. From now on, they will also be tested for SARS which falls in the category of infectious disease. This will be in the interest of the country," said Al Tayer. The Cabinet on Monday authorised the Ministry of Health to take ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi airport installs hi-tech thermal scanner

Posted on 01/05/2003

The Abu Dhabi General Authority for Health Services (GAHS) announced here yesterday that the installation of the new thermal screen at Abu Dhabi Airport's Gate 14 has been completed. The device will help screen travellers from the SARS-affected countries and detect anyone carrying symptoms of the deadly disease. Ahmed Al Rumaithi, Director of GAHS, said the device will enhance the already strict preventive measures implemented at the airport and all entry ports throughout the country. ...  >>MORE

Health body opens hotline for reporting suspected SARS cases

Posted on 01/05/2003

The Health Services Authority in Abu Dhabi Emirate has decided to open a direct telephone line for the public to report any suspected cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). A medical team prepared to deal with suspected cases will be available round-the-clock and could be contacted on 02- 63 91 633. The move is part of the plan put in place by the health authorities in the country to prevent the disease from entering the UAE, said Ahmed Saeed Al Rumaithy, Assistant Under Secretary ...  >>MORE

UAE free from SARS: Madfa

Posted on 30/04/2003

Health Minister Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa yesterday said that the UAE was free from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS, denying the occurrence of any SARS cases in the country. Speaking to the Emirates News Agency, WAM, he said that the UAE was taking necessary preventive measures in line with the instructions of President H.H. Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Madfa said that the Ministry and all health institutions in the country were obliged to register all suspected cases with ...  >>MORE

Abu Dhabi installs thermal imaging system at airport

Posted on 30/04/2003

The Ministry of Health officials said yesterday that a thermal imaging system has been installed at Abu Dhabi Airport to check incoming passengers from SARS-affected countries. They said: "The screen has been installed at Terminal 14 to detect passengers with high fever." They also said the Cabinet's decision to ban people coming from these areas has yet to be implemented. Precautionary measures are being implemented at entry ports and the flow of passengers from these countries has not ...  >>MORE

UAE bans entry of people coming from SARS infected regions

Posted on 29/04/2003

The federal cabinet at a meeting held here yesterday under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister Sheikh Sultan bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed a report submitted by the Ministry of Health on the global health situation which confirmed that the UAE was free from the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) disease. The cabinet authorised the ministry to take all necessary preventive and protective measures in collaboration with the authorities concerned to ensure that the country remained free ...  >>MORE

Blood donations from SARS areas deferred

Posted on 27/04/2003

The Ministry of Health (MoH) is deferring blood donations from donors coming from countries affected by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) as a precautionary measure, an official said. The Department of Blood Transfusion Services at the MoH has taken a decision not to accept blood from donors arriving from SARS-affected countries on the list of the WHO, until it is ascertained that they do not carry the virus. "Blood donors arriving from SARS-affected countries will not be accepted ...  >>MORE

Medical teams begin screening passengers

Posted on 26/04/2003

Doctors at the Abu Dhabi International Airport were still waiting yesterday for the Ministry of Health to install thermal scanners to help them screen passengers for SARS. According to doctors and officials, they expect them to be installed at the airport by tomorrow. They were scheduled to be installed yesterday. Special anti-SARS teams, comprising doctors and nurses, have been deployed to support the medical staff at the airport clinic to screen travellers arriving from the Far East. Doctors ...  >>MORE

Thermal scanner to be installed at Abu Dhabi airport to check SARS

Posted on 23/04/2003

An advanced thermal scanner, first of its kind in the UAE, will be installed at Abu Dhabi International Airport within two days to check if any arriving passenger is infected by the deadly Sever Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus, a senior health official said here yesterday. The General Authority for Health Services (GHAS), Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health would install the electronic scanner at the airport, Dr Mahmoud Fekri, Assistant Under-Secretary of the Central ...  >>MORE

No SARS cases reported in UAE

Posted on 22/04/2003

Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa, Minister of Health, yesterday chaired a meeting of the Ministry's Higher Technical Committee assigned to follow up the developments of SARS disease. Present at the meeting were Ministry's Under Secretaries, Dr. Abdul Rahim Ja'afar and Hassan Alkeim as well as Mahmoud Fikri, Assistant Under Secretary for Preventive Medicine, Humaid Al Ameri, Assistant Under Secretary for Financial and Administrative Affairs and other Committee members. Alkeim said that the Committee ...  >>MORE

Measures afoot for SARS prevention

Posted on 20/04/2003

The Ministry of Health has adopted all precautionary measures to prevent the spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) into the country, according to an expert. "The ministry has joined the international Communicable Disease Committee (CDC), functioning under the umbrella of the World Health Organisation (WHO), in devising a contingency plan to probe the causes of and treatment for the fatal pulmonary infection resulting from the epidemic," said Dr Iman Izzat Basuni, paediatrician at ...  >>MORE

No SARS case in Dubai

Posted on 15/04/2003

There are no cases of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in any of the hospitals or medical centres of the Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms), according to Dr Adnan Julfar, Director of Dohms's Primary Health Care Department. Dr Julfar said the Dohms had taken adequate precautionary measures to prevent SARS-infected patients from entering the country via Dubai International Airport. In cooperation with the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation, the Dohms clinic at the ...  >>MORE

Airline denies rumours of SARS-afflicted crew

Posted on 14/04/2003

Emirates airline denied rumours that an employee had the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) yesterday. Last week, rumour had it that an Emirates cabin crew member had contracted SARS, and was admitted to Welcare Hospital. Speaking to Gulf News, Mike Simon, Director Corporate Communication at Emirates, stated that this was simply a rumour. Dr Alasdair Beatton, Emirates' Head of Medical Services, confirmed yesterday that no passenger on an Emirates flight and no member of the Emirates ...  >>MORE

FNC to debate SARS safety steps

Posted on 14/04/2003

The Federal National Council (FNC) will discuss today preventive measures being taken by the Ministry of Health to keep the country free from the SARS virus. According to the agenda, Hamad Abdul Rahman Al Madfa, Minister of Health, will answer the questions of members on the preparations and preventive measures against SARS, which has affected a number of South East Asian countries and Canada. The issue was raised by member Rashid Obaid Al Hafeeti in a written question addressed to the health ...  >>MORE

UAE is SARS free: Al Marzouki

Posted on 09/04/2003

The Director of the Health Awareness and Disease Control Department has said that the UAE is yet to register any case of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, SARS. In a statement issued today, Dr. Ali Al Marzouki advised travellers to any of the affected countries to be aware of the symptoms and ways of contracting the disease. He said by yesterday, 2,600 cases of the disease have been registered in 17 countries, with most cases having been registered in Hong Kong and China, adding that 98 ...  >>MORE

Dubai Civil Aviation takes precautionary measures against SARS

Posted on 07/04/2003

The Dubai Department of Civil Aviation announced yesterday that it has taken precautionary measures against the lethal pneumonia, or Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome SARS. "Due to the importance of Dubai Airport as a transit point, and also an entry port to Dubai emirate and the UAE, precautionary measures have been taken to ensure the safety of passengers, or entry of affected persons into the country” said Sheikh Ahmed Saeed bin Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Department of Civil Aviation. ...  >>MORE

Emirates takes precautions to tackle killer pneumonia

Posted on 05/04/2003

All aircraft of Emirates have been equipped with extra face masks, disposable gloves and biohazard plastic bags as part of the precautionary measures against the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Dubai-based Gulf News quoted from airline officials yesterday. Speaking to Gulf News, Mike Simon, Director of Corporate Communication at Emirates, said that the airline is closely following the situation on SARS, an atypical pneumonia, in accordance with WHO guidelines. He said that Emirates ...  >>MORE

Ministry cautions against travel to SARS-hit areas

Posted on 03/04/2003

Travel from the UAE to regions stricken by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), an atypical pneumonia, is being discouraged by officials of the UAE Ministry of Health. Each day the ministry receives calls from anxious people planning to travel to South-East Asia, for business or pleasure. Dr Juma Bilal Fairuz, Director of the Department of Disease Control, told "Khaleej Times" that airlines flying from affected regions were advised to inform their passengers to present themselves to ...  >>MORE

No SARS cases in UAE

Posted on 03/04/2003

The UAE has recorded no cases of the killer pneumonia, a senior health official said yesterday. "No case" of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) "has been registered in the country," said Juma Bilal, head of the Health Ministry's epidemic control centre. "We have taken preventative steps at our airports, the main one being to recommend passengers coming from infected areas contact a clinic or doctor as soon as they feel any symptoms," Bilal said. ( AFP) ...  >>MORE

Airport clinic on alert over killer pneumonia

Posted on 29/03/2003

Officials at the Ministry of Health have confirmed that medical staff at airport clinics are still alert despite no cases of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) having been discovered in the UAE. He added the ministry is following developments at the international level and the guidelines provided by the WHO, which is taking positive steps to identify the causes. The ministry took measures after an emergency meeting last week and all health authorities, the Civil Aviation departments ...  >>MORE

Doctors set to tackle pneumonia threat

Posted on 19/03/2003

The Ministry of Health will strengthen the local response to the emergence of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), an infectious disease characterised by pneumonia-like symptoms. After an emergency meeting here yesterday the Ministry officials urged travellers arriving from South Asian countries who show pneumonia symptoms within five days to report immediately to the nearest clinic or hospital. All directors of preventive medicine departments were present at the meeting. Doctors ...  >>MORE

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