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Merge 104.8 | 25 February 2020
COVID-19 Coronavirus update:
Two more people have tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Oman bringing the number to four today, the Ministry of Health has announced. The additional cases have been reported today among another two travelers in the Sultanate returning back from Iran. Details on the two newest patients have not yet been announced.
The two Omani women who earlier tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 are reported to be stable after returning to the Sultanate from Iran, with “minor symptoms” and their condition does not require hospital admission at this time, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Al Saidi, Minister of Health told Oman TV on Tuesday.
Al Saidi did say, however, that authorities in Oman have identified 35 people who have been in touch with the two women and the Ministry of Health is in the process of testing all of them.
Al Saidi added that around 250 people who came to Oman from COVID-19 infected countries have been quarantined as a precautionary measure.
He also said that the ministry has allocated quarantine areas in all of the Sultanate’s governorates.
Oman’s Ministry of Health has outlined tips for precautionary measures to reduce the public’s risk of contraction or spreading of the virus, while urging residents and citizens to avoid the spread of rumours regarding information on the virus in Oman, and to only take information from official sources.
COVID-19 – Best hygiene practices:
The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced Monday two positive cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Oman.
The two cases are the first to be reported in the Sultanate.
The patients are two Omani women who came back home from Iran. They are in stable condition and in quarantine, as per the MOH.
Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has announced that it has suspended all passenger flights between Oman and Iran.
The authority said that all flights between the two countries will be stopped starting until further notice.
This comes after two Omani women – who flew back to the Sultanate from Iran – tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus today.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: The first case of COVID-19 has been detected in Bahrain with flights suspended to and from the UAE:
In other developments Bahrain has announced it is suspending all flights to and from the UAE for 48 hours following a case reported in the Kingdom. (Khaleej Times)
According to Bahrain’s Ministry of Health, the patient was a Bahraini citizen arriving from Iran.
Kuwait said three people, including a Saudi national who returned from Iran were infected by the new coronavirus, state news agency KUNA reported.
The three cases, the first in the Gulf state, were among the 700 people evacuated from the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad last week, Reuters reports.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: New Quarantine Rules Applied.
In the latest developments, the Ministry of Health has announced that visitors from countries in which the coronavirus has been detected will be subject to quarantine.
The statement reads: “Oman’s Ministry of Health urges the travellers coming from the countries in which the epidemic has been reported, particularly China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Iran during the past 14 days to contact the MOH Contact Centre in order to guide them with regard to the quarantine and the other precautionary measures.
“As part of the infection control procedures, the ministry indicates that it will enforce the home or institutional quarantine for the travellers coming from the above mentioned countries for a 14-day period, inclusive of China, Iran, Singapore, and South Korea.”
Regionally, cases have been found in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Iran. In a statement the MoH said however: “The Ministry would like to clarify that the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon are not among the countries from which quarantine will be applied.”
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Tourists visiting Oman via cruise ships will be checked for symptoms, say Marafi, a Port Operation and Management Company.
In a Tweet, the company stated: “We would like to point out that the Ministry of Health, in coordination with Marafi, is following up on tour ships coming to ports. Marafi is coordinating with their operators, following up on the cases of all the passengers and taking the necessary measures to ensure that visitors to the Sultanate’s ports are free of disease.”
The company clarified that the ships arriving in Oman are affiliated with major international companies that are not linked to trips to/from China or its neighbouring nations.
It added that companies and ports have increased their procedures for inspection and examination of all passengers prior to boarding, as well as during their presence on the vessel, and before they disembark.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Ministry of Health has warned to watch for false media reports. This comes after rumours of seven residents testing positive for the virus came to light on social media platforms. The ministry has assured it is fake news.
A tweet by the MoH today reads: “The Ministry urges everyone to consult the official sources and not paying attention to the rumors,” it added, before stating that legal measures will be taken against those publishing rumours.
In the UAE, The Ministry of Health and Prevention revealed on Monday that a patient diagnosed in the country with the Novel Coronavirus has now made a full recovery.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Oman’s Ministry of Health reaffirmed the readiness of its health institutions to tackle any cases that enter the Sultanate by implementing preparedness plans and activating procedures.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Consulate in Singapore has called on Omani citizens visiting the Asian country to exercise caution and avoid crowded places. It also called for wearing face masks all the time while in Singapore.
Singapore has raised its coronavirus alert level and reported more cases not linked to previous infections or travel to China. It comes as the death toll from the coronavirus was reported now to be higher than that of the SARS epidemic in 2003.
Oman has confirmed that a ‘majority’ of Omani students studying in China have returned back to Oman.
In a tweet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The Sultanate’s embassy in Beijing confirms the return of most Omani students studying in China, and the embassy is in contact with the rest of them to secure their return.”
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: False rumours circulating.
Oman’s Ministry of Health says rumors circulating on WhatsApp about a case of coronavirus found in Al Mawaleh Health Centre are untrue.
It added that legal actions will be taken on those who createed the fake news, and called people to follow official channels before reshaping any content.
Parents Not Allowed To Enter Nurseries.
Oman’s Ministry of Social Development has called on nurseries to take preventive measures so that children are safe from the coronavirus.
In a statement the Ministry said: “Parents have been requested to refrain from entering nursery buildings. They are only allowed to pick up and drop their children from the outside.
“We also ask parents not to bring children to nurseries in case they have symptoms such as an increase in temperature, chest congestion, difficulty in breathing, and cold.
The Ministry has also asked nurseries to provide sanitising equipment to children and staff; and to refrain from enrolling children who have visited the countries affected by the virus any time in the last six months.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman is ready, say authorities.
The Sultanate of Oman is prepared to face any form of emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Health (MoH) stated on Wednesday.
This statement comes after a second meeting that was chaired to discuss the precautionary means set in place to tackle the disease.
According to Al Wisal Radio, precautionary measures set by the Sultanate were discussed along with contingency plans across land, sea and air channels.
Also stressed was the need for readiness of public health plans across all Governorates and coordination between all health agencies at a local level.
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid Al-Saeedi, the Minister of Health, was quoted as saying: “The Ministry of Health has activated health emergency plans since the announcement of this virus, and coordination has been made with all partners on preparedness, including those involved in border crossings.”
“There is also continuous coordination and cooperation between the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and the Health Ministers’ Council for GCC States,” he added.
In other Coronavirus updates:
The UAE has confirmed five cases of the coronavirus in the Emirates, according to the country’s official news agency.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Airport Authority has released new travel advice.
The UAE Ministry of Health and Community Protection says the virus was identified among members of a family returning from Wuhan, China to the UAE. The ministry added that, currently, the family’s health is stable and that those members who are infected are under medical observation.
In the Sultanate, Oman Airports company has issued a statement for travelers on taking precautionary measures against the Novel Coronavirus while passing through airports.
A tweet by the airport management company stated: “Please take necessary precautions and follow the safety instructions below when traveling and passing through airports.
“May Allah protect you from all harm.”
The travel advice reads:
– Avoid traveling to affected areas unless necessary
– Make sure you have all necessary vaccinations and travel medications
– Seek advice from your healthcare provider
– Don’t travel if you have fever and cough
– If you become sick while traveling, seek medical help immediately
Oman’s Ministry of Health earlier released a statement that no cases of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) have yet been reported in Oman.
So far, no Omani students who are currently residing in China have been infected with coronavirus, the Sultanate’s embassy in Beijing confirmed on Sunday.
What are Coronaviruses?
Coronavirus is a common virus family known to cause a range of diseases ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia.
What is the Novel (new) Coronavirus?
This virus is a new type of Coronavirus that has not previously been found in humans. The new virus [was first found] in the People’s Republic of China and is called 2019-nCoV. Other known types of Coronaviruses include MERS- Coronavirus and SARS-Coronavirus.
What is the current situation of the new Coronavirus (2019- nCOV)?
The first case of this virus was reported on December 31 , 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China. As of January 26, 2020, more than 2,000 cases have been reported in Wuhan city and other cities in China. In addition cases were reported outside China in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macao, Philippines, and the United States. With 17 deaths recorded in Wuhan City (as of 23rd January).
(Please keep following the updates as it become available). All cases outside China has been infected in China.
Can humans be infected with a new coronavirus from an animal source?
Yes, evidence has shown that the new coronavirus infection is caused by contact with animals infected with the virus. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to identify the animal carrier of the new Coronavirus in China.
What are the symptoms of the new (2019-nCoV)?
The most common symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty of breathing. In the most severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.
Can the new (2019-nCoV) be transmitted from one person to another?
Yes, the transmission of the new Coronavirus from one person to another has been reported and is expected. It probably happens by close contact with an infected person, such as in the context of family, workplace or health-care centers. Also by exposure to surfaces contaminated by the secretion of the infected person.
Are health care workers at risk of contracting the new Coronavirus?
Yes, transmissions of infection have been recorded among health care workers because they are more close to patients than the general public. Health care workers are recommended to use appropriate personal infection prevention and control measures.
Is there a vaccine against the new Coronavirus?
No, there is no vaccine. When a new disease appears, no vaccine is available unless it is first manufactured. It may take several years before a vaccine against the virus can be made.
Is there a cure for the new Coronavirus?
There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the new Coronavirus. However, many of its symptoms can be treated, so treatment depends on the patient’s clinical condition. Supportive care for people infected can be very effective.
What can be done to protect against the new Coronavirus?
To reduce risk and prevent the new Corona virus infection, please apply the following procedures:
– Avoid direct contact with animals (live or dead) or presence in animal trading markets in China.
– Avoid direct contact with anyone with symptoms of a cold or respiratory infection.
– Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with tissue or flexed elbow.
– Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub.
– Make sure that animal products are cooked well before eating them.
For travelers to areas where the new Coronavirus has appeared, follow the above precautions. In addition, stay at home and avoid crowded places as much as possible, using a mask when in a crowded place, and go to the nearest healthcare institution in case of presence of any of the symptoms mentioned.
For those coming from the People’s Republic of China within the past 14 days or if you are in direct contact with a person who has visited China and suffer from chest infection and you have the following symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting), please visit the airport health control clinic directly or visit the nearest health center while you are in Oman and report your travel history.
Where can I get more information about the new Coronavirus?
For more information on the new Coronavirus (2019 n-COV), please contact the call center on 24441999 and follow information from the Ministry of Health cited in the national press.
The ministry has also opened a call center hotline (24441999) for any inquiries.
You can read more here.