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Thu 30 Apr 2009 08:26 AM

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Saudi halts flights from swine flu affected nations

Top airport official says incoming flights have been stopped as precautionary measure.

Flights to Saudi Arabia from countries affected by the swine flu outbreak have been halted, a senior airport official has announced.

The move comes as the World Health Organisation raised the global flu alert level to 5, the second highest phase that indicates “a pandemic is imminent".

Khaled Al-Medhel, director general of King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, said the incoming flights have been halted as a precautionary measure in comments published by Saudi Gazette on Thursday.

He said flights to King Fahd Airport in Dammam have also been stopped.

On Tuesday, the Airlines Operators Committee (AOC), of which 30 international airlines are members, appealed for medical screening of passengers arriving at Saudi airports.

Nine countries are known to be affected since the outbreak of the A/H1N1 swine flu was first revealed last week in Mexico.

In addition to Mexico and the US, Canada, Spain, New Zealand, Britain, Israel, Austria and Germany have reported infections.

Medhel said airport officials and the Ministry of Health will meet next week to work out a joint mechanism for preventive action.

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Carmel 10 years ago

This is just becoming crazier and crazier everyday. Who are these people that are holding these puppet strings that are making us dance to this riduculous tune. I just hope we wake up soon to what is going on here. Total manipulation and histeria. No doubt about it.