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1.
Emerg Microbes Infect ; 12(1): 2220577, 2023 Dec.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-20235192

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 has demonstrated the ability to infect a wide range of animal species. Here, we investigated SARS-CoV-2 infection in livestock species in Oman and provided serological evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection in cattle, sheep, goats, and dromedary camel using the surrogate virus neutralization and plaque reduction neutralization tests. To better understand the extent of SARS-CoV-2 infection in animals and associated risks, "One Health" epidemiological investigations targeting animals exposed to COVID-19 human cases should be implemented with integrated data analysis of the epidemiologically linked human and animal cases.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Cattle , Humans , Animals , Sheep , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/veterinary , Oman/epidemiology , Camelus , SARS-CoV-2 , Data Analysis , Goats
2.
J Emerg Manag ; 21(7): 289-309, 2023.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2300166

ABSTRACT

Our study analyzes the economic impact of COVID-19 and its subsequent border closure and the lockdown on the logistics, transportation services, and supply chain networks, most notably the closure of industrial complexes, commercial centers, and loss of jobs and businesses. As the pandemic disruption of the global supply chains reached its peak in the Middle East region, with approximately 22 percent decline in turnover of goods transport companies in 2020, we empirically assess the impact of this decline on the revenue, demand of services, operation, wages, and employments in the logistics companies in the Sultanate of Oman. Methodologically, we employ the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, McNemar's test, and Wilcoxon Signed-Ranks test to analyze the primary data collected from 61 survey questionnaire responses and 20 interviews of senior executives of these companies. Our results reveal unfavorable pandemic externalities on the surveyed companies' balance sheet, demand for services, operational capacity, wage payments, and employee layoffs. We also observed strong correlations between the timely goods delivery and customs clearance and material shortages, and between customs clearance and material shortages. Our findings have practical implications for company executives to lessen the effects of the pandemic on the reduction of company income, service demand, operational capacity, salary payments, and employee layoffs. Policymakers must develop appropriate policy measures to enhance port competitiveness and improve customs procedures and service delivery.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Humans , COVID-19/epidemiology , Oman/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Commerce
3.
Int J Community Based Nurs Midwifery ; 11(1): 2-13, 2023 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2205671

ABSTRACT

Background: Postnatal care is a component of the maternity care continuum, which is often under-valued and under-offered. The aim of this study was to explore healthcare providers' (HCPs) views about postnatal follow-up care (PNFC) offered to women in Oman. Methods: This qualitative study was performed from May 2021 to January 2022; 29 individual participated in semi-structured telephone interviews with staff nurses (N=20), nurse/midwives (N=5), and doctors (N=4) from Khoula and Ibra hospitals and Al Amerat, Muttrah and Al Qabil health centers in Oman. Conventional content analysis was guided by Erlingsson and Brysiewicz. Results: Seventeen sub-categories and four categories emerged from the data; they included communication and timing of PNFC, provision of PNFC with various components, challenges and needs for providing PNFC, and the impact of COVID-19 on PNFC. Conclusion: Providing postnatal follow-up care in Oman is challenging for HCPs due to lack of clinics dedicated to postnatal care, no scheduled appointment times for women, very limited guidance within the National Maternity Care guideline, and some HCPs (i.e., nurses) with no formal education on the components of postnatal care. These hinder the ability to provide information, education, support, and services to women.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Maternal Health Services , Humans , Female , Pregnancy , Aftercare , Oman , Health Personnel
4.
Dermatol Ther ; 35(11): e15820, 2022 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2029317

ABSTRACT

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic. This has led to the rapid development and emergency approval of vaccines to overcome the alarming spread of the virus. Data on the cutaneous side effects related to the COVID-19 vaccine remains limited. In this prospective observational study, which was conducted from June 20 to September 20, 2021, we evaluated the incidence and various patterns of cutaneous side effects reported post COVID-19 vaccination in Al Buraimi Governorate in Oman. All vaccinated individuals aged 12 years and older, who had a skin reaction within 4 weeks following any dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, were enrolled in the study. The demographic data, medical history, vaccine-related information of all the patients were documented and the analysis was performed using the SPSS version 23 software. In total, 67 cutaneous reactions were reported by 55 patients accounting for 0.11% of all vaccinated individuals. The mean age of the patients was 33.3 years, 80.6% were females, 61.2% of the reactions were reported after the first vaccine dose, and 38.8% were reported after the second dose. We observed a wide range of cutaneous reactions and categorized them into three major patterns: local injection site reaction (2%), new onset rash (81.6%), and flare up of pre-existing dermatological conditions (16.4%). Notably, urticaria was the most common reaction overall, followed by generalized pruritus and maculopapular rash. In general, we reported a diversity of cutaneous side effects that healthcare workers should be aware of as some reactions may be overlooked and not linked to the COVID-19 vaccination.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Exanthema , Adult , Female , Humans , Male , COVID-19/prevention & control , COVID-19 Vaccines/adverse effects , Exanthema/chemically induced , Exanthema/epidemiology , Oman/epidemiology , Vaccination/adverse effects , Prospective Studies
5.
Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J ; 22(3): 409-412, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2025948

ABSTRACT

Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) has been reported as one of the neurological manifestations linked to COVID-19, a severe acute respiratory syndrome caused by coronavirus 2. We present the case of a 72-year-old male patient attending a tertiary care hospital in Muscat, Oman, in 2020 with a history of progressive bilateral limb weakness and numbness. The current diagnosis was in line with a rare complication of COVID-19. After exclusion of other possible causes, a diagnosis of GBS induced by COVID-19 was made. The patient received 0.4g/kg of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) per day for five days. This case report highlights the characteristics and course of GBS following COVID-19 infection. Further studies are needed to characterize the manifestations and course of various neuromuscular disorders in relation to COVID-19 infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Guillain-Barre Syndrome , Aged , COVID-19/complications , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/diagnosis , Guillain-Barre Syndrome/etiology , Humans , Immunoglobulins, Intravenous/therapeutic use , Male , Muscle Weakness , Oman
6.
Int J Public Health ; 67: 1604474, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2023035

ABSTRACT

Objective: Studies from the past decades have shown that mood disorders are common during childhood and adolescence. This study aimed to estimate the point prevalence of depression in Omani children and adolescents during social distancing and lockdown and identify the risk factors for developing depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic. Methods: This is an analytical cross-sectional study conducted in May 2020, in which all young Omani people attending a mainstream school aged 8-18 years old were eligible to participate. Parents were asked to complete the online survey, which consisted of the parent version of the Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (MFQ-Parent). In addition, the option of a self-reported version (MFQ-Self) was provided in cases where children preferred to fill out the survey themselves. Logistic regression was used to identify the contributing socio-demographic variables associated with depressive symptoms. Results: A total of 445 participants completed the MFQ, out of which 72.1% were parents, and 27.9% were children, adolescents and young people. 13.9% of children and adolescents exhibited depressive symptoms during the COVID-19 pandemic in Oman. The presence of depressive symptoms was associated with increased food intake (OR 1.81, 95% CI 1.00-3.29, p-value <0.05), longer use of smartphones (OR 2.72, 95% CI 1.56-4.73, p-value <0.001), whereas additional entertainment activities during lockdown were protective against depression (OR 0.35 95% CI 0.19-0.64, p-value <0.001). Conclusion: This study from Oman concurs with recent reports of depression being common during the COVID-19 pandemic. Concerted efforts are needed to mitigate this trend and identify high-risk groups during the lockdown period.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Depression , Adolescent , COVID-19/epidemiology , Child , Communicable Disease Control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Humans , Oman/epidemiology , Pandemics , Parents , Prevalence
7.
PLoS One ; 17(7): e0269204, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1963001

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: Environmental factors can influence the epidemiological dynamics of COVID-19. To estimate the true impact of these factors on COVID-19, climate and disease data should be monitored and analyzed over an extended period of time. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries are particularly lacking in such studies. This ecological study investigates the association between climate parameters and COVID-19 cases and deaths in the GCC. METHODS: Data on temperature, wind-speed and humidity and COVID-19 cases and deaths from the six countries of the GCC were collected between 29/1/2020 and 30/3/2021. Using Spearman's correlation coefficient, we examined associations between climate parameters and COVID-19 cases and deaths by month, over four different time periods. A two-step cluster analysis was conducted to identify distinct clusters of data using climate parameters and linear regression analysis to determine which climate parameters predicted COVID-19 new cases and deaths. RESULTS: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had the highest cumulative number of COVID-19 cases while Bahrain had the highest prevalence rate per 100,000. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) reported the highest cumulative number of deaths while Oman recorded the highest death rate per 100,000. All GCC countries, except the UAE, reported a positive correlation between temperature and cases and deaths. Wind speed was positively correlated with cases in Qatar, but negatively correlated with cases in the UAE and deaths in KSA. Humidity was positively correlated with cases and deaths in Oman, negatively correlated in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar and KSA but there was no correlation in the UAE. The most significant predictors in cluster analysis were temperature and humidity, while in the regression analysis, temperature, humidity and wind speed predicted new COVID-19 cases and deaths. CONCLUSION: This study provides comprehensive epidemiological information on COVID-19 and climate parameters and preliminary evidence that climate may play a key role in the transmission of the COVID-19 virus. This study will assist decision makers in translating findings into specific guidelines and policies for the prevention and elimination of COVID-19 transmission and infection.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , COVID-19/epidemiology , Climate , Humans , Humidity , Incidence , Kuwait/epidemiology , Oman/epidemiology , Qatar/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Saudi Arabia/epidemiology , United Arab Emirates/epidemiology
8.
PLoS One ; 17(5): e0268027, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1933248

ABSTRACT

The Scale of Positive and Negative Experience (SPANE) is an emerging wellbeing scale to measure the frequency of positive and negative emotions. This study explores the psychometric properties of SPANE on a sample from the Arab Gulf region. The Arab Gulf region shares cultural elements with the broader Muslim and Arab world, but maintains distinct features that warrants validation studies for psychological instruments. There were 1393 participants from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and other Arab Gulf countries. The factorial structure of SPANE was examined using a principal axis factor analysis, followed up with a confirmatory factor analysis. The convergent validity was examined by correlating SPANE with the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS). The findings confirmed a two-factor structure of SPANE, and demonstrated adequate psychometric properties and convergent validity. In conclusion, this study indicates that SPANE shows sufficient validity for use as a measure of wellbeing in the Arab Gulf region.


Subject(s)
Arabs , Factor Analysis, Statistical , Humans , Kuwait , Oman , Psychometrics , Reproducibility of Results , Saudi Arabia , Surveys and Questionnaires , United Arab Emirates
9.
J Infect Dev Ctries ; 16(6): 952-958, 2022 06 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1924340

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION: A rapid and sensitive COVID-19 diagnostic test is required to aid in the prevention and control of the current COVID-19 pandemic spread. We developed a colorimetric, rapid, and sensitive RT-LAMP assay for the diagnosis of COVID-19 viral infection. METHODOLOGY: Complete genome sequences of 41 SARS-CoV-2 isolates from Oman were used in this study. Three primer sets (CoV_S1, CoV_S2, CoV_M1) were developed from all Omani SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences available at the time, targeting the spike protein gene and the M gene. The primer set (CoV_S1) was found to be the most sensitive and specific among the three designed sets. The sensitivity and specificity of the assay were compared to that of qRT-PCR. Direct testing of SARS-CoV-2 spiked saliva with the developed assay was evaluated. Lyophilized colorimetric assays were stored at room temperature and 4 °C and their ability to detect positive samples were tested for a period of 8 weeks. RESULTS: The RT-LAMP assay was validated by testing 145 COVID-19 clinical samples with a sensitivity of 96.9% and specificity of 94.7% when compared to the validated qRT-PCR assay. The assay specificity was tested against SARS-CoV Frankfurt 1 RNA virus and avian coronaviruses as they tested negative with the developed assay. The assay was lyophilized and managed to detect the positive samples colorimetrically when stored at 4 °C for up to 8 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The assay can be utilized in its current form as a screening assay with the advantages of being simpler, quicker, and cheaper than the qRT-PCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , COVID-19/diagnosis , Colorimetry , Humans , Molecular Diagnostic Techniques , Nucleic Acid Amplification Techniques , Oman , Pandemics , RNA, Viral/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , Sensitivity and Specificity
10.
BMJ Glob Health ; 7(Suppl 3)2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909733

ABSTRACT

In April 2020, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Oman, a high-income country in the Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMR), implemented a robust contact tracing (CT) system for COVID-19. To capitalise on Oman's experience, EMRO has developed a case study presenting the methodology used to conduct the CT activities, main functions of the system, challenges encountered, lessons learnt, and the way forward. To develop the case study, a key informant interview was conducted virtually with the CT focal point in the MoH, using a semistructured questionnaire adapted from the WHO questionnaire for the assessment of CT activities. The Oman MoH launched a CT system based on three complementary digital tools: Tarassud plus, Medical Scout and HMushrif applications. Oman's CT strategy classifies contacts into close and casual contacts. Only close contacts are listed using the Tarassud plus application, while casual contacts are requested to self-monitor for 14 days using the other two applications. With the evolution of the outbreak, Oman MoH implemented stricter policies and prioritised the follow-up of close contacts to keep the CT activity manageable. Community health workers and volunteers facilitated the CT activities through sensitisation of the local community to the follow-up process and reducing the COVID-19-associated stigma. Challenges encountered revolved around contact data management, given the offline in-operability of the applications, and lack of national risk communication guidelines to address community concerns and widespread rumours.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Contact Tracing , Contact Tracing/methods , Disease Outbreaks , Humans , Oman/epidemiology
11.
J Infect Public Health ; 15(8): 906-914, 2022 Aug.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1895221

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 vaccines are considered to be a vital tool in controlling the pandemic. Hesitation with COVID-19 immunization has been reported worldwide. The acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine among health care workers (HCWs) is an important step in determining the success of any new vaccination program. This study aims to estimate the acceptability of COVID-19 vaccines among HCWs in Oman. METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a self- administered questionnaire was conducted among HCWs in December 2020. Data were analyzed using a bivariate level to identify the statistical association with acceptability using the Chi-squared test. At the multivariate level, we determined the socio-demographic and knowledge factors associated with vaccine acceptability. RESULTS: A total of 608 out of 700 HCWs participated (response rate 87 %), of which 64.8 % were Oman citizens and 53.8 % were aged between 30 and 39 years. The majority of the participants were female (62.8 %) and married (87.0 %), while 48.5 % of the respondents were doctors. Only 43 % of the participants were willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19, while 57 % were either uncertain 35 % or unwilling 22 % to be vaccinated. The main reason for not being willing to receive the vaccine was their perceived adverse events after vaccination. The male participants (OR: 1.96 95 % CI 1.22-3.13) and those with a positive attitude towards the vaccine (OR: 9.17(95 %) CI-1.78-47.07) were more willing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Similarly, trust in the government (OR: 2.41 95 % CI 1.57-3.71) and having sound knowledge of the COVID-19 vaccine (OR: 15.91 95 % CI 9.81-25.88) improved the acceptability to vaccinate among the HCWs. In contrast, having a previous experience with SARS-CoV-2 (OR: 1.65, 95 % CI: 1.08-2.54), was associated with a significant decrease in COVID-19 vaccine acceptability. CONCLUSION: 50 % of HCWs reported being uncertain or unwilling to be vaccinated against the COVID-19 vaccine. Male gender, positive attitude towards the vaccines, trust in government and knowledge of COVID-19 vaccine as key factors that determine improved vaccine acceptability among HCWs. Therefore, to facilitate herd immunity among the population, it is necessary to initiate effective communication strategies among HCWs in order to sensitize them towards the acceptability of the COVID-19 vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Adult , Attitude of Health Personnel , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Oman/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
12.
Middle East Afr J Ophthalmol ; 28(4): 239-244, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1835269

ABSTRACT

PURPOSE: To investigate the impact of coronavirus infection disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic on ophthalmic referrals within an academic tertiary center in Oman. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of internal referrals received and evaluated by the ophthalmology department between March 1and August 31, 2020 (COVID-19 period) compared to a corresponding period in 2019 (pre COVID-19). Data included patient demographics, referral details, ocular diagnosis, intervention, and discharge plan. RESULTS: Referral volume significantly decreased by 58.2%; from 2019 prepandemic to 510 (P = 0.001), with the lowest in April and May 2020. Patient demographics did not differ significantly, but "urgent" referrals reduced by 96.2% (P < 0.001). Main reasons for referrals were reduced vision and screening in both periods. During pandemic, referrals for screening purposes increased from 30.3% to 37.9% (P = 0.013) and for reduced vision decreased from 30% to 23.3% (P = 0.021). Dry eye syndrome increased in frequency during 2020 (from 2.9% to 7.3%, P = 0.002) but cataracts and conjunctivitis both decreased (from 4.7% to 2.1%, P = 0.046 and from 2.3% to 0.3%, P = 0.013, respectively). Ocular trauma remained stable (from 0.8% to 0.3%, P = 0.456), but the proportion of chemical injuries increased by 13.7% (P = 0.025). There was a drastic decrease in interventions from 37% to 26.1% (P < 0.001) and an increase in discharge rate from 61.2% to 75.8% (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION: The impact of COVID-19 pandemic on ophthalmic referrals within a tertiary academic centre in oman referral reductions and changes in pattern and characteristics as an epiphenomenon of COVID-19 reflect the extent of impact specifically in an Omani context. This information is vital for planning proper resource utilization, the adoption of innovative care delivery, and improving referral system pathways.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Vision, Low , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Oman/epidemiology , Pandemics , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2
13.
J Epidemiol Glob Health ; 12(1): 1-6, 2022 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1734111

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) vaccine hesitancy among health care workers (HCWs) is widely reported. Here we report on the prevalence of vaccine hesitancy and the factors associated with it in a sample of non-vaccinated HCWs. Data from 433 not vaccinated medical and non-medical HCWs from various health care facilities after the introduction of COVID-19 vaccination in Oman were analyzed. Most of the participants were nurses (41.5%) followed by physicians (37.5%) and non-medical HCWs (21%). Forty percent of HCWs were willing to uptake the COVID-19 vaccines. Physicians and male HCWs had more positive attitudes toward the COVID-19 vaccines than nurses and female HCWs. Concerns about the COVID-19 vaccines including unknown health issues, efficacy and safety were stated by the participants. Our results show a low level of willingness to uptake the COVID-19 vaccines among HCWs, an issue that must be urgently addressed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 Vaccines , COVID-19 , Attitude , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/prevention & control , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Oman/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2 , Vaccination
14.
Front Public Health ; 9: 779654, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686564

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to study the perceptions of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on behaviors related to diet and food shopping on a sample of 356 adults in Oman. The study is based on the results of an Arabic-language online survey conducted between September 15 and October 10, 2020, using the Survey Monkey platform. The questionnaire had 25 questions (multiple options and one option), subdivided into three parts. Respondents were asked to disseminate the survey to their networks as part of the study's snowball sampling method. Descriptive statistics and various statistical tests (e.g., U-Mann Whitney, Kruskal-Wallis, chi-square) have been used to evaluate the study results. The study showed a significant shift in the attitude and behavior of respondents regarding food and health. Indeed, the paper findings indicated (i) a shift to healthier diets, as shown by the fact that 45.5% of the participants increased their intake of fruits and vegetables, 42.4% ate more healthy foods, and 53.1% reduced their intake of unhealthy foods; (ii) an increase in the consumption of local products, owing to food safety concerns, with 25.8% of the cohort stating that they purchase more local food items; (iii) a shift in grocery shopping behaviors, especially with 28.1% of the participants buying more groceries online; (iv) the absence of panic buying in Oman, since 62.36% of the participants said they did not stockpile food items; and (v) a reduction of food waste. Indeed, 78.9% of the participants specified they were not wasting more food than average since the beginning of the pandemic, and 74.72% indicated they were more aware of how much food they were wasting. Surprisingly, COVID-19 appears to bring many beneficial adjustments in Oman to make food consumption more sustainable and healthier.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Refuse Disposal , Food , Humans , Oman/epidemiology , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2
15.
Int J Infect Dis ; 112: 269-277, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1654549

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To assess the seroprevalence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) in Oman and longitudinal changes in antibody levels over time within the first 11 months of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. METHODS: This nationwide cross-sectional study was conducted as a four-cycle serosurvey using a multi-stage stratified sampling method from July to November 2020. A questionnaire was used and included demographics, history of acute respiratory infection and list of symptoms, COVID-19 contact, previous diagnosis or admission, travel history and risk factors. RESULTS: In total, 17,457 participants were surveyed. Thirty percent were female and 66.3% were Omani. There was a significant increase in seroprevalence throughout the study cycles, from 5.5% (4.8-6.2%) in Cycle 1 to 22% (19.6-24.6%) in Cycle 4. There was no difference in seroprevalence between genders, but significant differences were found between age groups. There was a transition of seroprevalence from being higher in non-Omanis than Omanis in Cycle 1 [9.1% (7.6-10.9%) vs 3.2% (2.6-3.9%)] to being higher in Omanis than non-Omanis in Cycle 4 [24.3% (21.0-27.9%) vs 16.8% (14.9-18.9%)]. There was remarkable variation in the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 according to governorate. Close contacts of people with COVID-19 had a 96% higher risk of having the disease [adjusted odds ratio (AOR) 1.96, 95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.64-2.34]. Labourers had 58% higher risk of infection compared with office workers (AOR 1.58, 95% CI 1.04-2.35). CONCLUSION: This study showed a wide variation in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 across governorates in Oman, with higher estimated seroprevalence in migrants in the first two cycles. Prevalence estimates remain low and are insufficient to provide herd immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Antibodies, Viral , Cross-Sectional Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Oman/epidemiology , Seroepidemiologic Studies , Surveys and Questionnaires
16.
Front Public Health ; 9: 770946, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1591003

ABSTRACT

Despite the apparent challenges inflicted by COVID-19 globally, the pandemic provided an opportunity to utilize and expand existing public health capacities for a more adaptive and resilient system during and after each wave of the disease. This paper provides a narrative review of Oman's public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic from January 2020 to July 2021, and the challenges it faced for a more rapid and efficient response. The review demonstrates that the three main pillars influencing the direction of the pandemic and aiding the control are Oman's unified governmental leadership, the move to expand the capacity of the health care system at all levels, and community partnership in all stages of the response including the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The opportunities identified during response stages in the harmonization of the multisectoral response, streamlining communication channels, addressing vulnerable communities (dormitories, residences at border regions), and providing professional technical leadership provide an excellent precursor for expediting the transformation of Oman's health care system to one with a multisectoral holistic approach. Some of the major challenges faced are the shortage of the public health cadre, lack of a fully integrated digital platform for surveillance, and the scarcity of experts in risk communication and community engagement. A future health system where the center for diseases surveillance and control acts as a nucleus for multisectoral expertise and leadership, which includes community representatives, is crucial to attain optimum health. The destruction inflicted by this prolong COVID-19 pandemic at all levels of human life had valued the importance of investing on preventive and preparedness strategies.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Pandemics , COVID-19 Vaccines , Health Services , Humans , Oman/epidemiology , Pandemics/prevention & control , SARS-CoV-2
17.
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int ; 29(16): 23407-23418, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1527495

ABSTRACT

This study aimed at investigating aircraft noise exposure levels, their annoyance, and potential health effects among communities living within airport catchment areas during the COVID-19 pandemic. Both field measurements and an online survey approach were used to investigate aircraft noise exposure levels, annoyance, and general health effects among residents living near Muscat International Airport (MCT) in Muscat, Oman, amid the COVID-19 period. The study found a drastic decline in aircraft noise levels due to the introduction of COVID-19 intervention measures such as lockdowns, social distancing, and closure of airports. In June 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, average daily aircraft noise levels of LAeq (39.9 dB(A)) and Lmax (49.7 dB(A)) was observed compared to the previous year (April-May 2019) of 58.5 and 76.8 dB(A), indicating aircraft noise reductions level of 32% and 35%, respectively. The results of the online social survey among 187 participants showed that most (58.8%) of the respondents did not feel that the level of noise produced by aircraft causes annoyance. During the day, the vast majority of the interviewees did not complain of any annoyance during the morning (45.5%), afternoon (39.6%), and evening (31%) with only < 4% of residents have reported a very high degree of annoyance of during COVID-19 pandemic period. Very few people (17%) did complain of experiencing general health problems while 29% did not know of any potential health effects that could be attributed to aircraft noise exposures. Aircraft noise annoyance complaints among the As-Seeb residents during the pre-COVID-19 pandemic periods were reported to be extremely high reaching about 84% compared to 41% during this current COVID-19 pandemic period. These findings support the need to develop future sustainable noise mitigation policies in order to help reduce noise exposures and improve human health during post-COVID-19 pandemic periods.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Noise, Transportation , Aircraft , COVID-19/epidemiology , Communicable Disease Control , Environmental Exposure , Humans , Noise, Transportation/adverse effects , Oman/epidemiology , Pandemics
18.
J Pak Med Assoc ; 71(11): 2563-2570, 2021 Nov.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1518960

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the extent of coronavirus infection in cancer patients along with their demographics, laboratory findings and outcomes in a tertiary care setting. METHODS: The study was conducted in Muscat, Oman, from March 24 to October 23, 2020. The data was collected from the cancer registry of the Directorate-General of Non-Communicable Diseases, Ministry of Health, Oman. Data of inpatient coronavirus cases were retrieved from the electronic medical records system of the Royal Hospital, Muscat, all tertiary hospitals linked electronically to the registry and the coronavirus registry of Oman. The data of cancer patients infected with coronavirus was analysed and compared with non-cancer coronavirus-infected patients. Data was analysed using IBM SPSS 2019 v26. RESULTS: Of the 16,260 cancer patients, 77(0.47%) were infected with COVID-19 compared to 111,837(2.17%) in the national population. Mortality among cancer patients with COVID-19 was high 27(35.1%) compared to 1,147(1.03%) in the national population. Cancer patients with COVID-19 also had diabetes 15(20%), hypertension 20(26%), renal complications 15(20%) and cardiac issues 9(12%). Of the total, 32(41.6%) cancer patients with COVID-19 had received active cancer treatment within the preceding 4 weeks. CONCLUSIONS: The data on coronavirus infection outcome is emerging at a rapid pace focussing on the impact of underlying diseases, and the capacity of healthcare systems. Oncologists should customise cancer management, while cancer patients must practise social distancing, and seek prompt evaluation of suspicious symptoms.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Neoplasms , Humans , Neoplasms/epidemiology , Oman/epidemiology , SARS-CoV-2
19.
Prim Health Care Res Dev ; 22: e62, 2021 11 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1500399

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: With the unprecedented spread of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, primary healthcare workers (PHCWs) are having to shoulder the increasing weight of this ongoing pandemic. AIMS: This study explored the rate and covariates of depressive symptoms among PHCWs in the Muscat governorate. METHODS: A cross-sectional online survey was conducted from 10 May to 10 June 2020 among PHCWs working in all primary healthcares across the Muscat governorate. Data on sociodemographic and risk factors of having at least one underlying physical health condition, a psychiatric history, family history of psychiatric disorders, and direct involvement with COVID-19 positive patients were sought. The Patient Health Questionnaire (PHQ-9) was then used to solicit the presence of depressive symptoms. Those with a cutoff point ≥10 were considered as showing depressive symptoms. Logistic regression was used to determine risk factors associated with depressive symptoms in PHCWs after adjusting for all sociodemographic factors. FINDINGS: A total of 432 (72%) out of 600 PHCWs with an average age of 39.2 years (SD = 7.8 years) ranging between 25.0 and 75.0 years responded to the survey. There were more females (n = 281, 65.3%) than males, and more than 45% (n = 195) of them were physicians. Additionally, more than 78% (n = 338) had been in contact with COVID-19 patients. There was a significant association between different age groups and profession (P < .001), having at least one underlying physical health condition (P = 0.001) and depressive symptom status (P = 0.038). A total of 78 out of the 423 subjects (18.1%) were considered to have depressive symptoms. After adjusting for all factors, the logistic regression model showed that an age of 34 years or below (OR = 2.079, P = 0.021) and having at least one underlying physical health condition (OR = 2.216, P = 0.007) were factors contributing significantly to depressive symptoms among the PHCWs.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , SARS-CoV-2 , Adult , Cross-Sectional Studies , Depression/epidemiology , Female , Health Personnel , Humans , Male , Oman , Pandemics
20.
J Prim Care Community Health ; 12: 21501327211051930, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496100

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND: COVID-19 pandemic has led to health service modification and temporary disruption of the routine care provided to patients with diabetes mellitus (DM) in primary care. This was done to minimize outpatient visits, permit physical distancing, and ensure patients' and healthcare providers safety. There is no evidence that explored or measured the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on diabetes services and patients' glycemic outcome in Oman. AIM AND OBJECTIVES: To explore the accessibility of DM services in primary care after COVID-19 pandemic announcement, and measure patients' glycemic outcome. METHODS: Before and after, retrospective cohort study using Al-Shifa healthcare database in primary care. One thousand adult patients with diabetes who attended DM clinic before pandemic announcement in 2019 were randomly selected and followed up until end of 2020. Patients aged ≥18 years and had at least 2 visits in 2019 were included. Access to DM services was identified by number of patients received care, frequency of consultations, mode of consultation, and type of intervention given to patients. Patients' glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and other glycemic parameters after pandemic announcement in 2020 were determined and compared with the same parameters before pandemic in 2019. Association between patients' HbA1c and mode of consultation was measured using multivariable regression analysis. RESULTS: A total of 937 patients continued to follow and received DM care after pandemic announcement. Median number of consultations was 2 with interquartile range (IQR): 3-2. 57.4% had face-to-face alone, 32.4% had combined face to face and telephone consultation, and 10% had telephone consultation alone. Mean difference in HbA1c (%) before and after pandemic announcement was 0.2 ± 1.4 (95% CI: 0.1 to 0.3), P = .002. With multivariable linear regression, the mean difference in HbA1c was -0.3 (-2.3 to 1.5), P = .734 for telephone consultation alone, -0.5 (-2.4 to 1.4), P = .613 for face-to-face alone, and -0.5 (-2.4 to 1.3), P = .636 for combined consultations, compared to those who did not receive any formal consultation. CONCLUSION: Despite service modification and disruption of comprehensive care in primary care after COVID-19 pandemic announcement, DM services were accessible as majority of patients maintained follow up. There was an overall increase in mean glycated hemoglobin, however, it was a less than 1 unit increase. After adjusting for multivariable, glycated hemoglobin was reduced among those who received consultation including telephone consultation compared to those who did not, however evidence was unconvincing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Diabetes Mellitus , Adolescent , Adult , Diabetes Mellitus/epidemiology , Diabetes Mellitus/therapy , Humans , Oman , Pandemics , Primary Health Care , Referral and Consultation , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2 , Telephone
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