Country free of killer virus, says minister

DUBAI - The UAE remains free from Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), according to Hamad Abdel Rahman Al Midfa, Health Minister, who spoke to reporters in Dubai yesterday after inaugurating a medical conference and exhibition.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Mon 12 May 2003, 8:59 PM

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

He said all health departments in the UAE have mobilised their resources and have taken the necessary precautions at all airports and ports and have taken the necessary steps at hospitals to ensure the country can deal with any cases should they turn up.

Mr Midfa said the UAE was following the recommendations of the World Health Organisation (WHO) with regard to travel to and from the Philippines and Singapore.

The WHO, in its latest update on the deadly virus, considers that the cluster of SARS cases in the Philipines has been well contained and there appears to be no increased transmission risk. For these reasons, the WHO does not recommend any restrictions on travel to the Philippines.

As of May 10, the Philippines has reported a cumulative total of 10 probable SARS cases, with two deaths. Health authorities have determined that all 10 cases are part of a chain of transmission linked to a single imported case. All cases were placed in isolation in hospital.

Contacts of the 10 cases have been traced and authorities are confident that all contacts have been identified and placed in isolation. The last two cases that could have transmitted infection were isolated on April 30. All contacts have completed their period of observation and none has developed SARS.

The cluster of SARS cases in the Philippines began with the importation of a case who returned to the Philippines from Toronto, Canada. The imported case subsequently died from SARS, as did her father. Two of the remaining eight patients have been discharged. The others are recovering in hospital.



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