May 27, 2013
Muscat: The Ministry of Health (MoH) has made elaborate arrangements to fight the novel coronavirus (nCoV) infections in Oman.
a recent meeting, it was decided that a task force should be
established for 'case management' and to finalise algorithms for
'contact management' and 'infection prevention and control'.
An action plan will be prepared for 'risk communication'.
had decided to hold daily meetings at DCDSC since May 19, 2013, to take
stock of the situation and initiate appropriate actions," said a senior
official of the MoH.
Though there are no recorded cases of novel
coronavirus (nCoV) infections in Oman, MoH has decided to take
precautions routinely in all health care settings for all patients.
standard precautions include hand hygiene and the use of personal
protective equipment to avoid direct contact with patients' blood, body
fluids, secretions (including respiratory secretions), and non-intact
skin," said an official.
In a circular, the MoH has urged
doctors and nurses to take adequate precautions when providing care in
close contact with patients with respiratory illness symptoms like
coughing or sneezing.
"They should use eye protection, because
secretions sprays may occur. Other precautions include prevention of
injuries from needles or sharp instruments; safe waste management;
cleaning and disinfection of equipment; and cleaning of the
environment," said the circular.
For droplet precautions, the MoH has advised the use of a surgical mask if working within a metre of the patient.
patients in single rooms, or group together patients with the same
etiological diagnosis. If an etiological diagnosis is not possible,
group patients with similar clinical diagnosis and, based on
epidemiological risk factors, ensure a spatial separation of at least 1
Limit patient movements and ensure that patients wear medical masks when outside their rooms," said the circular.
precaution against airborne bacteria, the circular has urged health
care workers performing aerosol-generating procedures to use personal
protective equipment such as gloves, long-sleeved gowns, eye protection,
and particulate respirators (N95 or equivalent).
"Whenever possible, use adequately ventilated single rooms when performing aerosol-generating procedures," added the circular.
Dr Abdallah Assaedi, representative of WHO in Muscat, said that the
surveillance system in Oman is functioning very well, and the Sultanate
is well-equipped and prepared to capture, notify, and act on any case of
"I am closely following all the notifications that reach WHO, and I see no coronavirus cases in Oman."
to WHO, a new SARS-like virus has emerged in the Middle East since
September 2012. It causes a severe acute respiratory infection, and it
is feared that the virus could lead to a global pandemic similar to SARS
As of May 22, 2013, 44 laboratory-confirmed cases and 22 deaths have been attributed to the novel coronavirus infection.
Oman has conducted more than 53 tests to detect nCoV in the Sultanate from October 2012.
most of the tests were conducted in Royal Hospital, tests were also
conducted in Sultan Qaboos University Hospital for patients from far
flung areas like Ibri and Nizwa.