Muscat: A food poisoning outbreak affected 300 of Oman’s state-owned Petroleum Development Oman’s (PDO) contracted employees at the Qarn Alam Permanent Accommodation Camp on Monday but the company claims the situation is now under control.
“The situation is under control and most of the reported cases have been treated locally and discharged,” according to a statement issued by the PDO in a press release on Tuesday evening.
The statement also said that around 300 contracting employees have so far reported to the camp’s clinic, mostly with a mild to moderate infection.
“Others have been referred to the closest hospitals for further medical treatment. All those sent to the hospitals are stable and no one is in any danger.”
The food poisoning patients were taken to the Nizwa Referral Hospital, approximately 130km north-east of Muscat.
Dr Salim Bin Mousa Al Abri, Executive Director of Nizwa Hospital, said in a statement to the government-run Oman News Agency (ONA) that the Qarn Alam Police Station told the hospital about the food poisoning cases at the oil installations in Qarn Alam in central Oman, some 400km from Muscat.
The Nizwa Hospital doctor said that the emergency level at the hospital had been raised and medical teams were summoned to emergency departments.
“Employees on leave were also summoned and in two hours the medical teams managed to attend to all cases,” he added.
Dr Al Abri added that some patients were admitted. He also said that no case worsened at the hospital. Some patients were sent to Izki and Adam hospitals.
The Nizwa Hospital admitted 62 food poisoning cases, including 17 Omanis, of which 19 were discharged after treatment.
PDO Chief Medical Officer Dr Sulaiman Al Rawahi said that the company was working closely with public health officials to identify the cause of the incident and ensure that those affected receive appropriate medical care.
The Ministry of Health has sent a medical team to visit Qarn Alam to investigate the issue.
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is the Sultanate’s major exploration and production company. It accounts for more than 70 per cent of the country’s crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural gas supply.