Latest: No cases of coronavirus in Oman
Muscat: Amid the Coronavirus outbreak, officials of the Ministry of Health have urged people not to travel to China unless it is necessary.
Also read: Necessary steps to be taken in order to avoid Coronavirus
The Ministry of Health advised travellers to avoid all non-essential trips to China as the Coronavirus has claimed more than 130 lives. Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, headed a second meeting on Wednesday, January 29, to discuss the latest developments with regard to the Coronavirus.
According to a statement published by the officials at the Ministry of Health (MoH), during the meeting, Al Saidi recommended that people should travel to China only in necessary cases.
The minister stressed the Sultanate’s readiness to face this crisis and hoped that everyone will cooperate with the authorities concerned.
“People should travel to the People’s Republic of China only if necessary, and those who come from China should follow the guidelines provided to them by the concerned authorities when they arrive at the borders,” the statement read.
He also said that the Ministry of Health has activated emergency plans since the spread of the Coronavirus virus, and are coordinating with all partners on the preparations, including those involved at the borders.
"There is also ongoing coordination and cooperation between the MoH, the World Health Organization and the Ministers of Health in the GCC,” the statement added.
Travel agents working in Oman even confirmed that people are calling off their China trips.
A travel agent in the country said that with the spread of the Coronavirus in China, people were cautious about travelling there in the future. He said, “We do have quite a lot of demand during the Cherry Blossom Festival which takes place in March, but people have been quite careful about booking this time, because of the ongoing situation.
“We have also been in contact with tour operators in China with whom we organise tours, and they too are unwilling to release many trips because of the ongoing situation.”
Health authorities and regulators of Oman are constantly on the lookout, making sure the Sultanate is protected as well as prepared for the Coronavirus outbreak.
In this regard, the MoH and other health-regulatory bodies of Oman also paid a visit to the airport and ports in Sohar to review the readiness for the virus.
“The Director-General of Diseases Surveillance & Control of the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Director-General of Health Services of North Al-Batinah Governorate along with a number of MoH specialists visited Sohar Airport and Sohar Port on Tuesday,” the officials of the MoH said in a statement.
“During the visit, the team met the operators in the airport and the port reviewed the readiness of the MoH and the concerned authorities in handling the Novel Coronavirus,” they added.
Officials also discussed the current situation, preparations and response in detecting any person who may be infected with the Coronavirus, adding that “the challenges and difficulties that could be faced were also discussed during the meeting, as well as the policies and measures that need to be taken.
“A number of procedures have been agreed to be taken in Sohar Airport and Sohar Port in order to enhance the readiness for a public health emergency along with the joint coordination between various relevant authorities,” they said.
The virus, which gripped China’s city Wuhan recently, has spread to various countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macao, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Australia, France, Germany, USA, and Canada, the MoH said.
The Ministry calls on its citizens and residents to obtain information from official sources, and communicate with the MoH through its call centre (24441999) in case of any inquiries or doubts.