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GCC States Plan Unified Stance To Tackle Ebola

GCC States Plan Unified Stance To Tackle Ebola

Health ministers from the six Gulf states have chalked out a common strategy to defend the region from the deadly virus.

The six GCC countries have decided to adopt a common stance to tackle the spread of the deadly Ebola virus, it was reported on Thursday.

A meeting that took place between GCC health officials in Riyadh on Wednesday discussed national, regional and global implications of the virus and also drew out a unified strategy to combat it, reported Saudi daily Arab News.

“Delegates will make every effort to keep the disease out of the region,” the report quoted Tawfiq Khoja, director-general of the GCC Health Ministers’ Executive Office as saying.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said in its latest report on Wednesday that more than one million people were affected by the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

According to the UN body, 1,069 people have died of the virus, while the total number of cases has reached 1,975.

It warned that there is “no early end in sight” to the crisis and called for “extraordinary measures” to stop the spread of the disease.

Earlier this month, the WHO declared that the Ebola outbreak constituted a ‘public health emergency of international concern’.

It said that the “possible consequences of further international spread are particularly serious” and noted that a coordinated international response was “essential” to stop the virus.

The death of a Saudi national in early August, who displayed symptoms of viral haemorrhagic fever following a business trip to Sierra Leone, led to fears that he may have been infected with Ebola.

However, the Kingdom’s health ministry confirmed that initial tests conducted returned negative.

As a precautionary measure, the Kingdom also recently announced that it has suspended umrah and haj pilgrimage visas for citizens from all Ebola-hit countries including Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

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