The GCC now has some confirmed cases, and Muscat Airport are screening people's temperatures on arrival with infra-red. We will get a case here eventually. Meanwhile keep washing hands regularly and avoid touching your face. Carry a small bottle of hand sanitiser with you. Its good advise even without swine flu - there are plenty of other potential nasties out there anyhow.
You can get a great map on H1N1's progress around the world here.
Pic: Swine flu - Google maps is a great tool for interactive mapping...
It didn't help either that the Ministry of Health sent a general spam SMS in Arabish that sort of implied (at least to native English speakers) that we had had our first case in Oman. It was the talk of the town on Thursday... Here's the helpful SMS
"Oman is free from H1N1 Flu (previously known as Swine Flu) til today. The Ministry of Health is closely monitring the situation and is prepared for response... Flu Hotline 99851003"
Meanwhile, friendly local law firm Curtis Oman have posted about the details of Oman's recent Emergency Powers Decree of last year on their rather useful website for things legal.
The law states:
State of Emergency Law
First, the law provides that the state of emergency may be declared when the security and public order is subject to a dangerous situation. This may include any situation posing a threat to society or state security. Examples of such situations include:
• War or threat of war;
• Internal criminal disturbances;
• Public calamity; or
• The spread of an epidemic or plague.
The state of emergency declaration is made through a Royal Order specifying the emergency situation, the area covered and the date of effect.
Second, the law requires the National Security Council to issue orders to protect safety and public order. It also provides additional authority to the government to respond to the emergency. For example, during the state of emergency the National Security Council may issue orders to the Royal Oman Police to take the following emergency response measures:
• Restrict individual liberties and rights to move, reside, and pass through specific locations at certain times;
• Take into custody anyone threatening public order;
• Specify timings and require closure of public places;
• Monitor all kinds of correspondence and information, and seize, confiscate, or destroy the correspondence and information;
• Evacuate or isolate certain regions, including by closing roads;
• Temporarily acquire any property;
• Utilize services of any person, depending on the functions that are required in the situation; and
• Prohibit employees from leaving work.
The law provides that the government will give reasonable remuneration if it temporarily acquires property or utilizes the services of any person to respond to the emergency.
The law also allows for the National Security Council to involk the use of the Army if required too.