No cases of Novel Coronavirus in Oman, but travel advisory remains in effect

Muscat: The Ministry of Health on Sunday reassured citizens and residents that no cases of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) have been recorded in the Sultanate.

These assurances came as WHO said it is working urgently with researchers and doctors to investigate possible treatments for the virus. “This includes looking at whether existing antiviral drugs have an impact on the virus. Work is still at an early stage and has not produced any recommendation.”

Affirming that the Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has suspended all civilian flights bound for China from February 2, MOH urged citizens and residents to avoid travelling to China and the endemic areas only when necessary and declare their travel destinations to the health authorities at the Point of Entries (POE) when returning from these areas.

MOH confirmed the readiness of health institutions to tackle any cases that enter the Sultanate by implementing the plans and activating the procedures that were earlier developed at the government and private health institutions, as well as in the Points of Entry (POE) (air, sea, and land) in cooperation with the concerned authorities.

The number of laboratory-confirmed cases in and outside China as of Sunday crossed 37,000, including 800 deaths.

More than 300 cases of nCoV have been reported in 27 countries with some cases unrelated to travel to China and minor cases in other countries.

MOH said it is enforcing quarantine for those coming from the endemic areas within 14 days from the date of their departure from one of the affected areas.

Such cases will be assessed daily by a specialized team to make sure that they do not have any symptoms.

MOH urged all citizens and residents to follow advice and guidance issued by the official media channels regarding the precautionary measures, stressing to not pay attention to rumours.

Meanwhile, a meeting to review and follow up on the ongoing efforts of the response sector to tackle the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) with the concerned authorities was convened on Sunday at the Ministry of Health’s Centre for Emergency Management.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health, in the presence of Undersecretary Dr Mohammed Saif al Hosni, members from Sultan’s Armed Forces, Royal Oman Police, and Public Authority for Civil Defence and Ambulance.

The meeting highlighted the measures that have been taken in response to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, outlining the land, sea and air entry points’ emergency plans as well the coordination established between the Ministry of Health and the concerned authorities.

The meeting underlined the significance of coordination among health authorities at all levels, including that of the private sector.