GCC countries plan COVID-19 centre

Cairo: The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations have agreed to set up a centre for fighting COVID-19 and other epidemics, a Saudi newspaper reported Thursday.

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The plan was endorsed at the GCC summit held Tuesday in Saudi Arabia.

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A regional health facility, the envisaged centre aims at enhancing cooperation in the public health field, draw up joint policies and exchange of know-how among the member countries.

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The centre will also seek to boost coordination and build knowledge to prevent the spread of contagious and non-contagious diseases, ease public health emergencies and strengthen health local communities across the Gulf region, Okaz newspaper said.

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GCC Health Council

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The centre, to function under the umbrella of the GCC Health Council, will play an important role in prevention of contagious ailments in the Arab Gulf by constant follow-up of cases, assessment of perils and implementation of programmes to eliminate them.

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With a mission statement geared towards supporting development of programmes and cooperation practices in the public health field, the centre will also work to consolidate regional health training and utilization of public health data to draw up joint health Gulf indexes and research as well as boost institutional action.

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The GCC comprises Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar.

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