No coronavirus cases reported in Sultanate

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has lauded the Sultanate’s elaborate preparations in handling any possible spreading of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China, calling it ‘meticulous’.
Speaking to the Observer, Dr Magtymova Akjemal, WHO Representative to Oman, said such all-round preparedness could help the country report no incidence of the deadly virus.
“The Sultanate showed a seasoned, comprehensive approach towards keeping its people safe from the killer virus. Starting from the international gateways, all the hospitals at various levels were prepared for any untoward incidence. Awareness campaigns in schools and among public too were impeccably planned and flawlessly implemented,” she said.
She further said that the WHO has been fully engaged with the outbreak ever since China reported the first case in late December.
“It continues to guide countries on preparedness, surveillance, verification, and response, strengthen laboratory capacities, and mobilise essential supplies and medicines. WHO also provides advice to public on prevention.”
The WHO has earlier too appreciated Oman for its effective preparedness of health services at various points besides recognising the national plans against
neonatal morbity and mortality, according to her.
“The Ministry of Health stands out in terms of attention to public healthcare and farsighted planning and careful implementation that helped the Sultanate remain free from any such incidence,” Dr Akjemal added.
Rebuffing social media rumours, the Ministry of Health on Monday clarified that no cases have been registered so far in the Sultanate and has taken all measures to combat the virus outbreak.
“There is no truth behind such messages being spread through social media platforms regarding the first coronavirus case in Oman. Everyone should check the official sources before publishing such information,” said the ministry in a statement. The MoH also warned strict legal measures against those spreading misinformation and fake news through social media platforms.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health (MoH), represented by the Directorate General of Diseases Surveillance and Control and the Directorate General of Primary Healthcare, emphasised the preparedness of the Directorates General of Health Services in all governorates in handling the new Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak in China.
The workshop was held under the auspices of Dr Mohammed bin Saif al Hosni, Under-Secretary for Health Affairs, and attended by the directors of departments of diseases surveillance and control, primary healthcare and private health institutions in the governorates.
Dr Al Hosni stressed that the ministry supports the health institutions with required devices and staff that would enhance them to handle any detected cases.
The workshop touched upon several related issues including the National framework for Preparedness Plan, the Preparedness plan; North Al Sharqiyah Experience, Rapid Response Plan, health promotion and media and others.
The training workshop also highlighted the experiences at Muscat International Airport, Sohar port, the private health sector and the primary healthcare institutions.
The Ministry of Health monitors the current situation of 2019-nCoV in China, as well as the reports issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Diseases Control and Prevention to keep pace with any updates and following-up the emergence of any new case outside China.
The ministry has taken the precautionary measures at health institutions on how to handle, prevent and control any suspected cases. It also raises awareness among health workers, community and travellers from and to China to ensure health security in the Sultanate.
The Ministry of Health, Public Authority for Civil Aviation, Oman Airports, Royal Oman Police and port operators are working together to emphasise the preparedness of points of entry (air, sea and land), the health facilities in the Sultanate and training the staff concerned on handling any cases of communicable diseases, as well as developing plans for such situations at border crossings to reduce contact with others and infection transmission.
The ministry has activated the Central Public Health Emergency Committee of 2019-nCoV, in which the committee reviewed and circulated the manuals to handle suspected cases of this virus, prevention and infection control policies, and indicative action for points of entry at all health institutions.
The ministry’s team has recently visited Muscat International Airport, Sohar Airport and seaport, Duqm Airport and seaport to review the preparation and response plan at these border crossings.
Through the epidemiological surveillance system of acute respiratory diseases, the ministry monitored the cases of acute respiratory infection within the past two months and supported the system by an e-reporting system for the government institutions not affiliated to the ministry, as well as the private health institutions to monitor these cases across the governorates.