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Wed 22 Jul 2009 10:36 AM

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Companies could face staff shortage due to swine flu spread

Qatar health officials warn firms could be in danger of shortages due to H1N1 sickness.

Qatar’s Supreme Council of Health has warned that companies could face a major staff shortage due to the spread of swine flu.

The majority of swine flu suffers in Qatar are between the ages of 25 to 29, according to The Peninsula.

Dr Shazia Nadeem, head of Emergency Preparedness at the Communicable Diseases Control section of SCH, called on companies to develop a business community plan to help deal with a possible outbreak of the disease in the country.

Of the 42 cases in Qatar, she said, 14 percent had contracted the disease from an infected person.  

Qatar officials are waiting on a decision from an Arab health ministers’ meeting in Cairo on Wednesday to decide whether to issue a swine flu warning to hajj and umra pilgrims.

Several Arab and Islamic countries have already issued warnings to the elderly, children and pregnant women and those suffering from chronic diseases not to travel to Saudi Arabia amid the H1N1 pandemic, reported the Gulf Times. Asked if Qatar would issue a similar warning to its people, Dr Ahmed Kamal Naji, assistant minister for health affairs at the Supreme Council of Health, said, “We are expecting a decision on this issue after the Cairo meeting, in which Qatar is participating.”

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