No Screenings for Swine Flu in Dubai

DUBAI — Dubai will not issue any travel restrictions or start individual screening of passengers from countries 
affected by swine flu unless the World Health Organisation (WHO) directs it to do so, senior health officials said 
on Tuesday.

At a Press conference held in Dubai, Director-General of Ministry of Health Dr Ali Ahmed bin Shakar said the WHO had not yet asked countries to issue any travel ban to affected countries or to screen all passengers coming from those countries. Dr Mahmoud Fikri, CEO for Health Legislations and Policies at the ministry, said it is only advisable that the public avoid nonessential travels to affected countries.

However, after the Press conference, Secretary-General of Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi and the Head of National Committee for Emergency Response to Bird Flu Majid Al Mansouri told Khaleej Times that a monitoring system would soon be in place in the airports. “We need to sit down with customs, Ministry of Interior and airport officials,” said Mansouri. Director of Public Health in Dubai Dr Ali Al Marzouqi said no instruction has been sent yet to Dubai Airports about screening passengers or using thermal scanners.

Emirates Airline that flies to Houston in Texas where suspected cases have been found said it was functioning in full compliance with the guidelines issued by the International Civil Aviation Organisation and Airports Council International. “Staff at the airports where we operate have been asked to monitor the situation and share any information with airport authorities. Emirates has experienced no cancellations or changes to scheduled services at this time,” said a statement from Emirates.

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