GCC committees to meet to discuss bird flu

Updated: 2007-03-04 16:37
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Health committees of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will meet soon to discuss the latest developments of bird flu with emphasis on fresh cases reported in Kuwait, local newspaper Khaleej Times reported on March 4.

The meeting would discuss ways of enforcing the strategy adopted by the GCC secretariat-general to respond to the outbreak of bird flu, Minister of Environment and Water of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi said.

The UAE government has banned any import of live birds from Kuwait, Al Kindi said, adding that UAE companies doing business with Kuwaiti suppliers of frozen chickens were also informed to stop imports.

Inbound frozen chicken and bird shipments were being subjected to inspection and tests for 15 days before they were released to ensure they were not infected with bird flu or any other diseases, he said.

Kuwait on Friday announced to detect five new cases of the H5N1 strain of bird flu, raising the total number of the cases to 46.

Founded in 1981, the GCC, which groups Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, has been striving to achieve wide- ranging cooperation among its member states in face of internal and international challenges.