China returnees must visit health centres, says MoH
Oman’s Ministry of Health (MoH) has issued guidelines regarding the new Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) that has rapidly spread in China.
It has said that those coming from China within the past 14 days or if someone is in direct contact with a person who has visited China and suffers from chest infection and other flu-like symptoms must visit a health centre. ‘If you have the symptoms like fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing, diarrhoea or vomiting, please visit the airport health control clinic or the nearest health centre while you are in Oman and report your travel history,’ the ministry stated.
MoH stated that as of now the World Health Organization (WHO) does not recommend travel restrictions to China or any of the areas where the new Coronavirus has appeared.
In a tweet, WHO said, ‘No confirmed cases of the new #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) have been reported in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. We are working with countries to strengthen preparedness activities in line with the International Health Regulations #IHR 2005.’
Creating awareness on the issue, MoH stated that Coronavirus belongs to a common virus family known to cause a range of diseases ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia. ‘The 2019-nC0V is a new type that has not previously been found in humans. Other known types of Coronavirus include MERS-Coronavirus and SARSCoronavirus.’
The ministry stated that the new Coronavirus infection can also be caused by contact with animals infected with the virus in addition to transmission from one person to another. ‘It probably happens by close contact with an infected person, such as in the context of family, workplace or healthcare centres. Also by exposure to surfaces contaminated by the secretion of the infected person.’
Currently there is no vaccine. The most common symptoms include fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing. In the most severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
The ministry added that healthcare workers are at risk of contracting the virus as they are more close to patients than the general public. ‘Healthcare workers are recommended to use appropriate personal infection prevention and control measures.’