Muscat: Coronaviruses is a common virus family known to cause a range of diseases ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia.
According to the Ministry of Health, “The Novel (new) Coronavirus is a new type of Coronavirus that has not previously been found in humans. The new virus in the People's Republic of China and is called (2019-nCoV). Other known types of Corona virus include MERS- Coronavirus and SARS-Coronavirus.”
“The first case of the Novel Coronavirus (2019- nCOV) was reported on December 31, 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, People's Republic of China and so far 17 deaths have been reported from the city. As of January 23, 2020, over 300 cases have been reported in Wuhan and other cities in China. In addition, cases were also reported in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macao, the Philippines, and the United States.”
“Evidence has shown that the Novel Coronavirus infection is caused by contact with animals infected with the virus. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to identify the animal carrier of the virus in China,” they added.
“The most common symptoms of the Novel Coronavirus include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and difficulty in breathing. In the most severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.”
“It is reported that the Novel Coronavirus is transmitted from one person to another and also when someone is exposed to surfaces contaminated by the secretion of the infected person . It happens by close contact with an infected person, such as in the context of family, workplace or health-care centers.”
“Health care workers are at a risk of contracting the Novel Coronavirus because they are more close to patients than the general public and are advised to use appropriate personal infection prevention and control measures.”
“There is no vaccine against the Novel Coronavirus. It may take several years before a vaccine against the virus can be made. There is no specific treatment or cure for the disease. However, many of its symptoms can be treated. The treatment depends on the patient's clinical condition. Supportive care for people infected can be very effective,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The World Health Organization does not recommend travel restrictions on the Republic of China or any of the areas where the new Corona virus has appeared," they added.
“The following procedures can be practiced to avoid risk of getting infected: Avoid direct contact with animals (live or dead) or presence in animal trading markets in China. Avoid direct contact with anyone with symptoms of a cold or respiratory infection. Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with tissue or flexed elbow. Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub. Make sure that animal products are cooked well before eating them.”
The ministry also advised travelers to take precautions and to stay at home and avoid crowded places as much as possible. Travelers are also advised to use masks when in a crowded place, and go to the nearest healthcare institution in case of any symptoms.
People coming from People's Republic of China, who have stayed in China for the past 14 days or have come in contact with person who has visited China and is suffering from mentioned symptoms, are requested to visit the airport health control clinic directly or the nearest health center in Oman.
For more information on the Novel Coronavirus (2019 n-COV), please contact the call center on 24441999 and follow information from the Ministry of Health cited in the national press.