China re­turnees must visit health cen­tres, says MoH

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

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.’

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