13 August 2009
MUSCAT — The count of Swine Flu cases in Oman has swelled by nearly 90 in the last three days to cross 300, officials of the Health Ministry said, adding that they expect the figure to rise rapidly in the coming weeks. The ministry also clarified that there had been no deaths from H1N1 in the country.
“Eight-nine new cases have been reported from around the country. The total number of affected people (in Oman) now is 323,” a spokesman for the ministry told Khaleej Times on Wednesday after a meeting of the H1N1 Control and Follow-up Committee.
He said the authorities were bracing for a steady increase in H1N1 patients in the Sultanate as the outbreak spread to more and more countries around the world.
The condition of all the patients, including six in hospital, are “stable,” he added, urging the public not to be misled by rumours and “take information only from the right sources.” He was referring to unconfirmed reports in recent days that a Swine Flu patient had died in Oman.
The spokesman said the ministry was in talks with the Education Ministry on how to tackle the situation when Omani schools reopen on August 29 after the summer holidays.
The government is yet to make clear whether it was going ahead with the original schedule or postpone resumption of classes in the more than 1,000 state-run schools across the country. A decision is expected shortly.
On Tuesday, following an outbreak of the disease among its students, the Indian School Muscat (ISM), announced that it would be closed for 10 days from Wednesday following demands from parents.
Four students of the school have tested positive for H1N1 and the school authorities said the suspension of classes was meant to contain the spread of the disease.
ISM is Oman’s largest Indian school with 7,682 students. The other 14 Indian schools in the country have not reported any cases so far. School Principal Achuthan Madhav advised students to avoid groups and “minimise visits to shopping malls and cinemas.”
They must seek “immediate advice in case of any flu like symptoms such as fever, cough, head ache, muscle and joint pain, sore throat and running nose, vomiting, diarrhoea, nausea or giddiness,” he added.