Following the appearance of the first case of coronavirus in the United Arab Emirates, the Gulf countries are beginning to implement contingency measures.
So far, they had been spared the 2019-nCov, or coronavirus, epidemic that is currently spreading around the world. But with a first confirmed case in the United Arab Emirates, the Middle East is faced with a medical emergency and the need to make decisions commensurate with the volatility of the virus.
In the face of growing concern, many airlines are reducing or even canceling their flights to and from China. On Wednesday, Emirates, the state-owned airline, said its flights to the East Asian country were operating normally.
Prevention and information
However, extensive screening processes are being put in place at airports. The UAE Ministry of Health has also shared tips and information on its Twitter page. Mainly, these include travel advice and general information about the virus.
— وزارة الصحة ووقاية المجتمع الإماراتية – MOHAP UAE (@mohapuae) January 29, 2020
Saudi Arabia, for its part, said it was applying precautionary measures at the kingdom’s airports. The Saudi Civil Aviation Authority stated that it has taken, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, precautionary and preventive measures for passengers arriving from China on direct and non-direct flights. These initiatives are also being implemented at other airports in the Arab world, such as in Cairo and Beirut, where passengers are asked to fill in a specific form and forward it to the airport health services.