Self-declaration best way to prevent virus spread

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has urged all citizens and residents to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary, and to voluntarily report to the authorities of their past travel whereabouts.
All Omanis and GCC nationals entering the Sultanate from various points of entry (land, sea and air) must also adhere to imposing self home or institutional quarantine to help battling COVID-19.
The Sultanate had just two reported cases three weeks ago and today the number has risen to 24 and it is mostly due to the no self-declaration of the travel details by the affected persons, according to medical experts.
“It is always better to voluntarily declare all your travel details especially those who have travelled to the affected areas, even before the authorities ask for the same as it can save several others from the spread”, Dr Faryal Ali Khamis, Senior Consultant and Head of Infection Diseases Section at the Internal Medicine Department at the Royal Hospital, told the Observer.
“Besides, one should approach the nearest health care institution in case any of the symptoms was found with disclosure of the travel history. Only with self-declaration of travel details and strict adherence to preventive measures,
and by following a proper healthy habits, will we be able to control the spread”, she added.
The ministry also urges all citizens and residents to wash hands frequently with water and soap, avoid touching face, eyes and nose, follow the healthy habits when coughing and sneezing, and avoid attending the cinemas.
“The most important way to prevent infection is to break the chain of transmission of COVID 19. Self-declaration is one of the ways which will help facilitate the proper implementation of protective measures and thus prevent transmission of the infection,” said Dr Ramla al Qassabi, a senior medical specialist.
“It also makes the people responsible of their own safety and the safety of their families and loved ones,” she adds.
COVID-19 may not give out symptoms for up to 14 days of getting infection but the person still can shed the virus and infect others. So during this period he will infect an average three persons in a day for next 14 days if he doesn’t isolate himself and the cycle continues for every person he infects. The magnitude of spread of this disease becomes immeasurable if no proper identification and isolation is not done in a timely manner.
“So, self-declaration and isolation of all persons who have travelled to affected areas, even if they’re asymptomatic is important and every such person should declare it and go for that for their safety and for the safety of the entire community,” urges Dr Benny Panakkan, Medical Director, Badr al Samaa Group.
“A person’s travel history for the past few weeks becomes very important for deciding for infection as well as to quarantine in order to stop the spread of COVID 19. Self-declaration of travel history, especially from a country where the disease is prevalent, is a very helpful tool for doctors to decide for diagnosis,” says Dr Dilip Singhvi, Specialist, Apollo Hospital.
“Not only does it help expedite the management of disease but facilitate stoppage of transmission of the disease,” he adds.