MUSCAT: An Omani person, who has tested positive for (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) MERS in Thailand, had similar symptoms while he was admitted in a hospital in Oman, says the Ministry of Health.
Commenting on the Thai Health Ministry statement, the Omani Ministry of Health said in a statement uploaded on its official facebook account that samples taken from the patient in an Omani hospital earlier in January, showed he was suffering from MERS.
At the hospital, he was suffering from acute pneumonitis as well as diabetes. The patient had left the hospital against the advice of medical staff, and travelled to Thailand.
The Ministry of Health has called upon everyone to follow the instructions given by medical staff.
Meanwhile, the health condition of the Omani man who was found infected with MERS in Thailand, is now improving, Thai media reported quoting a senior official of the health ministry.
“His fever is lower. He can sit up and eat food,” Public Health Ministry’s permanent secretary Dr Sopon Mekthon was quoted as saying.
The 71-year-old Omani, along with his son, had travelled to Thailand last Friday abroad an Oman Air flight.
Thai health authorities also said they had placed 33 people in quarantine after the Omani man seeking medical help in the country tested positive for MERS.
“There are 33 people under observation,” the health ministry said in an update on Tuesday.
According to Thai authorities, there were at least 40 people who came in contact with the man and hence were deemed to be at high risk, including 22 passengers on his flight, two taxi drivers, four hotel staff, 11 hospital staff and one relative.
Issue of visa
Meanwhile, a senior official from Thai embassy in Muscat said that VISA issuance and probe on travel to Thailand, have not been affected since the news broke about the Omani MERS patient.
“There is no problem at all. Everything is as usual. We are not getting any concern calls. Even though we don’t have any screening process here, officials in Thai do it at all entry points. I have been updated from Thailand that tourism will not be affected,” Veerasakdi Prem-Aree, Counsellor at the Thai embassy, told the Times of Oman.
Thailand is a major regional tourist hub and many people also fly there to seek medical treatment.
It is particularly popular among wealthy Middle Eastern patients with many of the top Bangkok hospitals providing Arabic language services.
Last year too, an Omani had tested positive for MERS, leading to the quarantine of more than 170 people. He was successfully treated and sent home.
Oman Air flight
On Tuesday, Oman Air in a travel advice said that the passenger travelled from Muscat to Bangkok on January 22, 2016 aboard Oman Air flight WY815.
“Oman Air is liaising closely with all the relevant health and aviation authorities and has been advised that any risk posed to the health of fellow passengers is minimal. However, anyone who was aboard the same flight may, as a precaution, wish to visit a medical professional and request that their health status be checked,” the statement said. “If, within the next two weeks, any passenger from the same flight experiences severe acute respiratory illness, including fever, cough, and shortness of breath, we urge them to seek immediate medical advice,” the statement added.