he World Health Organization (WHO)  has said this week that the world should do more to prepare for a possible pandemic - a situation where an infectious disease spreads easily between people in many countries. Since emerging in China in December, coronavirus has spread to nearly 30 countries and has been a declared a global emergency.

The proportion of infected people who die appears tobe between 1% and 2%, although the WHO cautions that the precise mortality rate is not known yet but is believed to be 2,663+. Global cases of the virus have passed 80,000, the vast majority in China. Accordingly, the organisers of MEE who are expecting up to 50,000 international visitors and 1400 exhibitors from March 3rd to 5th, have issued a statement:

"We are working with all our partners to ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and the following hygiene measures will be in place at the show.”

Current features to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 virus include:

* Air extraction procedures every 4 hours to increasing the circulation of air. Registration areas will be continuously cleaned and therewill be frequent cleaning and sanitising of public areas and washrooms.

* Wall-mounted hand-sanitisers in all meeting rooms. Sanitisers have been provided in all registration areas, show-floor conference theatres, the media centre, organisers offices and café areas.

The MEE told WIP magazine:

“Middle East Energy (MEE) is closely monitoring developments of the Novel Coronavirus, which first emerged from Wuhan, China,in December 2019. The health and safety of our customers and colleagues is always our top priority. As such, we are following all safety advice and precautions as recommended by the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP)and the World Health Organisation (WHO). Several countries have put in place screening measures at airports and points of entry, and the Chinese government has implemented measures to limit the spread of the virus within the country. As such, for now, customers can be reassured that while we are monitoring the situation and staying up to date on official sources of guidance from the government and authorities, it is business as usual for our events in the UAE.”

The MEE team has said that companies which are concerned about Chinese nationals being present at the event should be aware that travel from affected areas within China has already been restricted and many international airports are currently screening visitors as they enter/leave the country.  Local health officials in Dubai have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate. But the risk to individuals remains low.

Health professionals in Dubai - like many others in the Gulf region - are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have corona virus.

The symptoms of coronavirus (Covid-19) are:

• a cough

• a high temperature

• shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have theillness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common,such as cold and flu.

Epidemiological investigation centres in the UAE are working around-the-clock to report any cases of the virus, noting that the health system in the country "works very efficiently and that the ministry is closely following the situation in a way that guarantees the health and safety of everyone."  MoHAP has confirmed that, in coordination with health authorities and the concerned authorities in the country, it has taken"all the necessary precautions in accordance with the scientific recommendations, conditions and standards approved by the World Health Organisation."

Passengers arriving at Dubai International will continue to be thermally screened, as they have since January 23rd, and airport personnelwill continue to do so. "These precautionary measures are in line with the directives of the UAE's Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA). The safety and security of our passengers, employees and airport-based staff is our top priority," said an official.

Feb 28, 2020
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