Via GulfNews.com: Mers, measures to control infectious diseases top FNC agenda. Excerpt:
Abu Dhabi: The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) and measures to prevent and control communicable diseases will top the agenda of the Federal National Council’s session on Tuesday.
Rashid Mohammad Al Shuraiqi, a member from Ras Al Khaimah, will put a question to Abdul Rahman Mohammad Al Owais, Minister of Health, concerning efforts being made to prevent the spread of Mers in the UAE.
The Ministry of Health confirmed last week all hospitals in the UAE were now free of Mers.
Officials have stressed that residents should listen to information released by the ministry and health authorities. They also said they are closely monitoring the situation to “ensure public health and safety”.
In May, WHO acknowledged growing concern about the virus, which can cause a potentially fatal respiratory illness, but said it was not a global health emergency because there was no evidence of sustained human-to-human transmission.
There have been 37 laboratory-confirmed Mers cases in the UAE since late March while, worldwide, Mers has infected at least 536 people and killed 145 since the first case was diagnosed in June 2012. There have been 330 cases, including 59 deaths, worldwide since the end of March.
The Health Minister will also be quizzed about the poor health services in the northern emirates by Dr Shaikha Eisa Al Ari, a member from Umm Al Quwain.
The House will discuss a new legislation about communicable diseases. Under the draft law, a person who knowingly exposes another to a communicable disease can face up to five years in prison, a fine of up to Dh100,000 or both for failing to comply with control measures.
According to the draft law, which requires approval by the House before being signed into law by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, a “communicable disease” is defined as an illness that occurs through the transmission of an infectious agent or its toxic products from a reservoir to a susceptible host, either directly or indirectly.