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Quarantine centre at UAE-Oman border to prevent entry of virus

posted on 28/02/2007: 1696 views

A new quarantine centre will be set up at the UAE-Oman border post near Al Ain to prevent the H5N1 bird flu virus from entering the country.

According to Majid Al Mansouri, spokesman of the National Committee for Emergency Response to Bird Flu, and Secretary-General of the Environment Agency-Abu Dhabi (EAD), the Executive Council has approved a budget for the centre that will be built by the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority at the Al Khatim Al Shakkla border post near Al Ain.

"The quarantine centre will be responsible for ensuring that all live birds, poultry and poultry products entering the country from Oman are free from the bird flu virus and other infections," he said yesterday.

He said live birds coming from Oman will be kept in quarantine for examination and released only after confirming they are free from any kind of virus or infections. Al Mansouri said the UAE and Omani authorities are also in contact to cooperate in controlling the flow of birds and poultry products between Al Ain and Buraimi.

Regarding similar measures at other entry points, he said the Executive Council had approved another budget of Dh5 million for the upgrading, renovation and further development of existing quarantine centres at Abu Dhabi International Airport, Ghuwaifat Post on the Saudi border and others.

Referring to the developments in Kuwait, Al Mansouri said the committee has communicated with their counterparts in Kuwait and have confirmed the existence of the H5N1 bird flu virus there. Asked if there will be a ban on birds and poultry products coming from Kuwait, he said the decision to this effect remains with the Ministry of Environment and Water. The ministry has already clarified that it had been agreed earlier that any GCC member country in which the flu virus cases appear has to stop export of birds and related products to other member countries.

Al Mansouri said any shipment coming from any country, including Kuwait, will be quarantined and dealt with under the National Avian Influenza Crisis Management Plan.

Regarding the virus spreading through migratory birds, he said with the continuous monitoring no cases had been reported in wild birds. He said two teams are currently monitoring migratory and other wild birds in the country and these teams will be increased to five. He said regular inspections of poultry farms are carried out. "We are fully prepared. We have taken every step to make sure avian flu does not enter the country." (Gulf News)


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