Ebola battle: GCC takes unified stance

A female Immigration officer wearing a facemask and gloves checks a passenger's passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, in this August 11, 2014 photo.

A female Immigration officer wearing a facemask and gloves checks a passenger’s passport at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, in this August 11, 2014 photo.

GCC countries have pledged to take a unified stance to combat the deadly Ebola virus by training health officials and making use of regional facilities to diagnose and treat such diseases within the Kingdom.

“The meeting that took place between GCC health officials in Riyadh on Wednesday came in good time,” Tawfiq Khoja, director-general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Health Ministers’ Executive Office, told Arab News.

The meeting, held under Khoja’s chairmanship, discussed national, regional and global experiences of the virus and also chalked out a common strategy to combat the disease.

“Delegates will make every effort to keep the disease out of the region,” he said.

The Ebola outbreak, the worst ever recorded, is centered in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, but has spread to other countries in recent months.

The virus is a severe and often fatal disease that affects and kills up to 90 percent of humans infected with the virus.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the virus a global health emergency.

Delegates will also promote cooperation, coordination and exchange of information and experiences between the GCC countries and specialized international organizations, such as the WHO, the Atlanta-based Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Agriculture Organization.

Periodic assessment of the disease at national, regional and at global levels would also be carried out, officials said.

A German laboratory recently reported that samples taken from a Saudi man were negative for Ebola virus, the Ministry of Health announced.

 
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