Health officials warned against unnecessary travel to Mexico this morning as the number of confirmed cases of swine flu across the world hit 79. The Minister of Health Humaid al Qattami said the UAE had no confirmed or suspected cases of swine flu, but that two emergency committees had been set up to to discuss precautionary measures.

The announcement came as the World Health Organisation said containing the virus was no longer feasible and countries should instead focus on mitigating efforts.

Mr Qattami also said there would be a GCC Health Council meeting next week in Doha to discuss the region-wide approach. “There is no need for anyone to panic,” he said. “The UAE is free from swine flu.” The UAE has “good supplies” of the flu medicine Tamiflu, he assured. So far countries including Mexico, the United States, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Britain and Israel have all confirmed cases of the flu.

munderwood@thenational.ae

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