Oman fully-prepared to tackle nCoV: Screening all entry points
As China and other countries grapple to contain the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak, Oman’s Ministry of Health (MoH), represented by the Directorate General of Diseases Control & Surveillance has asked all healthcare institutions and border crossing officials to be vigilant.
H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, on Wednesday met the undersecretaries and director generals of the Ministry of Health to discuss the latest developments regarding 2019-nCoV at the ministry headquarters.
The meeting reviewed the precautionary measures taken by the sultanate to tackle the virus outbreak as well as discussed the preparedness and emergency plans for all entry points.
The necessity for the readiness of public health emergency plans across the sultanate’s governorates and the importance of coordination between the health authorities was also highlighted.
H E Dr Sa’eedi also stressed the ongoing coordination between the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization and the GCC health ministers.
Meanwhile, MoH said it is monitoring the situation and asked all healthcare institutions to screen for any case and raise public awareness about the disease.
Information has been distributed to all healthcare facilities to be vigilant and monitor people returning from China especially those developing fever and cough within two weeks of leaving China, the ministry stated.
‘We urge citizens and residents to adhere to the preventive measures, follow healthy habits while travelling to the affected areas and visit the nearest healthcare institution in case of any symptoms with disclosure of the travel history,’ MoH stated.
Right now epidemiological investigations are still ongoing in China to identify the animal reservoir of 2019-nCoV. Continued on
‘To date, there is no vaccine for this virus and no effective drugs for the treatment. It may take several years before a vaccine can be made. Supportive care for people infected can be very effective.’
Some studies have shown that the new virus shares some similarities to the coronavirus found in bats, MoH stated.
The ministry explained that the transmission of the virus from one person to another happens through close contact with an infected person, for instance within the family, at work places or in healthcare facilities and contaminated surfaces therefore hand washing is an important preventive measure.
‘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. People with old age and underlying disease are at the risk of complication and death.’
MoH also recommended healthcare workers to use appropriate personal infection prevention and control measures.
H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Sa’eedi (third from right) at a review meeting