Abu Dhabi plan to prevent SARS

ABU DHABI - The General Health Authority for Health Services (GHAS) for the emirate of Abu Dhabi, has decided to prepare a disaster management plan to prevent spread of the deadly SARS virus.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Mon 5 May 2003, 12:31 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 10:59 PM

The decision was taken by the 'SARS Committee' which the authority has set up under the directives of Shaikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Economic Department and the head of GHAS, to boost local efforts to keep the disease out of the country.

Ahmed Saeed Al Rumaithi, Assistant Under-Secretary for Abu Dhabi Hospitals and Director of the Health Division of the GHAS, said that the committee had proposed that all entry points should adopt adequate precautionary and preventive measures regarding people coming from SARS-affected countries and regions. The measures include continuous sterilisation for airports and aeroplanes and other entry points.

The committee also decided that preventive material, such as masks and gloves, should be provided at airports and harbours for passengers arriving from the disease-hit areas and also members of the staff. It also decided to set up a centre, to be headquartered in Abu Dhabi, to coordinate work and follow-up measures relating to the epidemic with other authorities and institutions concerned, said Mr Rumaithi.

He said the committee had decided that hospitals in the country should allocate special wards to isolate suspected cases, constantly monitor their condition and offer treatment.

It also proposed introduction of a unified programme for prevention and management of the disease in public and private medical centres.

The committee decided to assign, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, a medical cadre in the emirate of Abu Dhabi, specialising in communicable diseases to handle suspected SARS cases, said Mr Rumaithi.

It recommended that the authorities concerned should take up the issue of reducing the number of visit and employment visas to people of countries affected by SARS.

Mr Rumaithi said that the committee had also proposed that the public should be urged to report any suspected case of SARS.

It also proposed that a team be set up for the Western Region, comprising officials of the medical district, police and immigration personnel to track of suspected SARS cases.

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