Flood relief work in full swing

Updated 31 January 2013
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Flood relief work in full swing

The health directorate in Tabuk is working at full capacity to ease the suffering of the people affected by this week's flood. 
“The directorate’s relief plans implemented in conjunction with other government departments to minimize the distress caused by heavy rains and floods has been successful. Eleven ambulance teams staffed by 53 trained men from the relief and emergency administration and other vehicles equipped with medical facilities are serving the affected people,” Muhammad Al-Towailei, director of health affairs in Tabuk, said in a statement yesterday.
Al-Towailei added that the department supplied six additional ambulances to the province’s Red Crescent, besides keeping standby relief workers in all hospitals and health centers. It also opened two separate clinics for men and women at the shelters for rain victims. Aside from this, it instructed hospitals to be ready to face any eventuality related to rain and floods. 
The director general also instructed hospitals to supervise the movement of ambulances, giving priority to flood cases over other less urgent ones. 
Coordination efforts are also under way between the operations center of the governorate and the Civil Defense, besides preparing medical supplies to ensure the smooth functioned of the health facilities. The supply teams are responsible for ensuring there are sufficient stock of the required medical equipment and medicine.
Torrential rain and flash floods prompted the relief teams to evacuate people from valleys and other threatened areas and led to the closure of schools in Tabuk on Monday. A baby boy died in Wadi Rawafa when he fell from the hands of his mother after the family’s car was trapped in floodwaters. A Civil Defense team rescued the family and recovered the child’s body.


Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

Updated 42 min 19 sec ago
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Riyadh bird market closed after duck found with avian flu

  • Azizia Bird Market shutdown after duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu
  • Bird and poultry keepers warned not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site

JEDDAH: Azizia Bird Market in Riyadh has been closed after a duck was found to be carrying H5N8 avian flu during ongoing inspections of poultry markets in the Kingdom, the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture announced on Friday.
Ministry spokesman Dr. Abdullah Abalkhail told Arab News that action was taken immediately after the bird was found to be infected.
Ducks carry the virus, but do not display symptoms of the infection.
As well as closing the market, the authorities have prevented the movement of birds in the market, and followed directions from Prince Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Abdulaziz, Acting Governor of Riyadh Region, to dispose of the birds safely and efficiently.
A contingency plan for dealing with cases of bird flu was applied by the Ministry’s branch in Riyadh, in cooperation with the security authorities, Riyadh Municipality, Riyadh Health Affairs Directorate, and the Ministry of Finance.
Abalkhail stressed that the Ministry, in cooperation with the relevant government sectors, has managed to stop the disease from spreading.
To date, there have been no human cases of H5N8 in the Kingdom. The last case of avian flu was recorded in the Kingdom on April 17 this year.
Abalkhail warned bird and poultry keepers not to go to Azizia bird market until clearance work has been completed on the site in order to protect their birds from infection.
Avian flu spreads rapidly among birds. He urged the public to report any suspected cases by calling the emergency number 8002470000.