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GCC prepares for emergency Ebola meeting - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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This Wednesday, May 2, 2012 file photo, shows a general view of the Interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

This Wednesday, May 2, 2012 file photo, shows a general view of the Interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) during their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Kuwait City, Asharq Al-Awsat— The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is preparing for an emergency meeting to discuss the latest developments regarding the spread of the Ebola virus.

Dr. Tawfiq Bin Ahmed Khoja, Director-General of the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers Council informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the meeting will aim to put in place the necessary precautionary procedures to protect Gulf citizens in the event of an outbreak.

This move comes as the Saudi Health Ministry warned citizens to avoid travelling to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. At least 932 people have died from an Ebola outbreak in West Africa, amid international fears that this could spread to other regions of the world.

Saudi Arabia’s health ministry said that it was monitoring the situation in West Africa in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO), and that it will review the restrictions placed on travel to these countries as the health situation on the ground changes.

Kuwait has also urged citizens not to travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leona, state news agency KUNA reported on Thursday.

Saudi Arabia recorded its first suspected Ebola case this week, when Saudi Arabia’s Health Ministry announcing the death of a patient in Jeddah from Ebola-like symptoms on Wednesday.

Saudi Health Ministry spokesman Dr. Khalid Marghalani informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the case has yet to be confirmed as Ebola, with samples being sent to special laboratories in the US and Germany. He said that the results of the samples would be announced within the next ten days.

Additional reporting by Bandar Al-Sharida