Oman


Crisis centre set up in Oman to deal with Ebola epidemic



Muscat: A Crisis Management and Emergency Centre has been constituted by the Ministry of Health to deal with the Ebola epidemic.

However, the Ministry of Health has clarified that no suspected case of Ebola has been reported in the Sultanate of Oman.

The clarification was made at an extraordinary meeting held by the Medical Response and Public Health Sector on Sunday to discuss the Ebola virus and its epidemic status around the world.

The meeting was chaired by Dr Mohammed bin Saif Al Hosani, undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Health Affairs.

The meeting was attended by Dr Sultan bin Ya'arub Al Busaidi, adviser of the Ministry of Health (MoH) for Health Affairs.

Stressing that no suspected Ebola case has been reported, Dr Al Hosani said a Crisis Management and Emergency Centre has been activated and preparations have been made to deal with the disease.

"We maintain continuous coordination with other GCC countries and world organisations regarding all aspects of the disease," he said.

The ministry has advised people against travelling to countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They also urged people to "get information only from the Ministry of Health" and "ignore rumours".

MoH officials held a meeting recently where they agreed on the measures for handling suspected cases, notifying them and carrying out tests for their detection.

They also discussed means of enhancing the abilities of the health institutions to deal with the disease. They agreed to print awareness handouts and distribute them at the Sultanate's entry ports. The Ministry of Health assured everyone that till date no suspected case of Ebola virus has been reported. It called on everyone to follow healthy practices and maintain cleanliness of hands.

Urging countries to raise the awareness and knowledge of travellers the World Health Organisation has said, "Travellers leaving or arriving in an area where Ebola virus has spread should be provided at points of entry (e.g. at airports or ports on boarding or arrival areas or at ground crossing points) with information on the potential risk of EVD.

"Information should also be spread among communities that may include cross-border travellers and near all relevant international borders.

"Travellers should be informed where to obtain medical assistance at the destination and who to inform (e.g. through hotline telephone numbers).

"Visitors returning from the affected areas should be alerted that if they develop infectious disease symptoms (such as fever, weakness, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhoea, rash, or bleeding) within three weeks after their return or if they suspect that they have been exposed to Ebola virus (e.g. volunteers who worked in healthcare settings) in the affected areas, they should seek rapid medical attention and mention their recent travel to the attending physician," the WHO has urged.

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