ABU DHABI, Feb. 17 (Xinhua) -- A senior official of the United Arab
Emirates (UAE) said that his country is free of the deadly H5N1 bird flu due to
the full-proof monitoring system at border checkpoint, local newspaper Khaleej
Times reported on Sunday.
The Gulf country is free of bird flu and laboratories across the country
have not detected any case of bird flu, UAE Minister of Environment and Water
Mohammed Saeed Al Kindi was quoted as saying.
"Although all bird shipments entering the country through the Ghuweifat
border checkpoint are safe, we are exercising utmost caution to ensure safety of
any shipment coming to the country," he said.
Located in the western part of the UAE, Ghuweif at border checkpoint is the
only entrance to the country from neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The Ghuweifat Quarantine Authority denied entry and confiscated some birds
and falcons for reasons related to administrative procedures but not because
they were infected with bird flu, Kindi explained.
It was reported earlier that the UAE was seeking assistance from the World
Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Naval Medical Research Unit to strengthen
surveillance and diagnostic capabilities against bird flu.
WHO has warned that recent outbreaks of bird flu could trigger a future
human flu pandemic and that the UAE should take precautions against travelers
coming from affected areas.