(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) A special team from the Ministry of Health (MoH) is collecting data in the governorate where the first Oman case of the MERS-Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was detected, according to H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid al Saeedi, Minister of Health.
Addressing reporters on day three of the ongoing 60th WHO Regional Committee for Eastern Mediterranean meeting, H E Dr Saeedi said that the discovery of Oman's first case was made by MoH officials on Tuesday evening, who then immediately informed the central laboratory in order to verify the case.
Saying that the patient was receiving treatment, the Minister said the case should not be linked to the recent return of thousands of pilgrims from Hajj in Saudi Arabia. According to AFP news agency, the patient is a 68 year old man who is receiving treatment at a Nizwa hospital.
''The infected patient is receiving treatment at one of our health institutions. Unfortunately, so far no medicine has been discovered for this virus. We urge people not to link the case with (Hajj) season as there is no confirmation that this is the case,'' he said.
According to H E Dr Saeedi, the main reason behind the high mortality rates due to the virus when it first appeared was that most of the patients were old, or suffering with chronic diseases.
''When the virus appeared one year ago, MoH formed a committee chaired by Dr Mohammed al Hosni (Undersecretary of Health Affairs) to put into place the procedures needed to counter the virus, and to do what was necessary if a case was detected.''
The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV), first seen in September 2012, has claimed 62 lives worldwide, mostly in Saudi Arabia, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO said last week there were a total of 144 confirmed cases of the respiratory disease worldwide.
The virus is considered to be a more deadly but less infectious cousin of the earlier SARS virus that infected over 8,000 people in Asia, nine per cent of whom died.
(With inputs from agencies)<