Steps to prevent SARS in Al Ain

AL AIN - The Al Ain Preventive Medicine Department (AAPMD) has taken several steps to prevent the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) from entering the Eastern Region of Abu Dhabi Emirate, a top official at the AAPMD told the Press yesterday.

By Sadiq A. Salam

Published: Tue 22 Apr 2003, 12:41 PM

Last updated: Wed 1 Apr 2015, 9:59 PM

Four weeks ago, the department had formed a team to work round-the-clock to screen passengers arriving at Al Ain International Airport, as per the directives of the Ministry of Health, Dr Rafie Alwash, AAPMD Director, said.

The team consists of a doctor, health inspector and a nurse. It has not reported any suspected case so far. "We have prepared a questionnaire to be filled in by all passengers arriving at the airport about their origin of journey and SARS-related symptoms," he added.

The department has set apart a fully-equipped ward in Al Ain Hospital to quarantine suspected carriers of the contagious disease.

Dr Rafie called upon the public to avoid travelling, as far as possible, to SARS-hit areas.

He also urged the public to report any suspected case to the nearest hospital or clinic and take all the preventive measures like wearing surgical masks and gloves while dealing with the suspected patient.

Dr Rafie said that "it is unlikely that we are going to see any SARS case in our region because the Al Ain International Airport is not receiving direct flights from the countries affected by the disease. But precautionary measures are very crucial to tackle it." The World Health Organisation (WHO ) has reported 3, 547 SARS cases to date from all over the world. Only four per cent of them died because they didn't get the needed medication in early stages of the disease, he said.

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