With 19 deaths and 1,640 new cases of Covid-19 being reported in the Sultanate on Thursday, experts have cautioned that wherever there are lapses in following preventive measures by the public, the deadly virus could spread around.
While the total number of positive cases reached 230,219, including 2,467 deaths, the number of recoveries rose to 207,795.
The Ministry of Health (MoH) said that 164 people were admitted to hospitals across the country during the 24 hours, taking the total number of inpatients to 1,065, including 345 in intensive care units, and added that 951 new cases recovered.
Medical experts warned that if the present scenario continues, more fatalities could happen inviting stricter measures.
Dr Faryal bint Ali al Lawati, Senior Consultant and Head of Infection Diseases Section — Internal Medicine Department at the Royal Hospital, told the Observer that the situation is very worrying and the indicators are serious.
“The pandemic is more rapidly spreading and it seems to be even more severe. We expect an increase in numbers in the coming period.”
Medics continued to urge the public to stay away from each other and help the nation safeguard the life of everyone.
The MoH has found that lack of social distancing among some people has resulted in the rapid surge in the number of cases in the country.
“Keeping away from each other, using the face mask and hand sanitising are some of the steps against Covid-19 which have been flouted by some sections of society resulting in the escalation of Covid cases in the country,” she added.
Dr Raman, Al Hayat Polyclinic, said people need to be more careful as post-Covid period is equally dangerous as Covid-19 itself.
“Every day new discoveries are made in the management of Covid disease because of emergence of variants. Of late, we have come to know that the tendency of the blood to clot may last longer during recovery. So during recovery period people are more prone to stroke, heart attack and pulmonary embolism.”
Hence, doctors are advising to continue anti-clotting medicines for 3-4 weeks after successful recovery. There is concern about long-term effects on organs like lungs and kidneys. There is high risk for lung tissue to be replaced by scar. In the same way kidney failure can also emerge after months and years.
“Heart can get affected in long term resulting in heart failure. Lots of psychological problems are also affecting many patients,” added Dr Raman.
Anxiety, depression and panic caused by the disease, fear of disease and death of friends, relatives and colleagues are also known to affect after Covid. There is also concern about incidents of clots in veins of the brain after second dose of a particular vaccine. So it’s important to be under the care of the doctor for some time even after recovery.
“Vaccine does not prevent infection, it only prevents death and ICU admission. Since vaccination does not prevent infection it is better not to be lax after vaccination. Moreover the variants spread faster and to more people and so herd immunity threshold may raise,” according to Dr Raman.
Dr Viresh Chopra of Oman Dental College opines that the present opening of beaches and parks cannot be an excuse to go careless but one needs to be more cautious.
“Though restrictions have been lifted and it has been relaxed for the public as well as children below 12 years we should still behave responsibly because Covid-19 is still not over. As responsible citizens, we should follow the safety protocols, wear mask, wash hands regularly, practise self-hygiene and maintain social distancing. We can all help each other to stay safe and defeat corona.”
“We still need to wear the mask, maintain social distancing and regularly sanitise our hands like before as children are yet to be vaccinated. So my advise is to have some changes in life, go out but restrict your outdoor visit, not everyday and follow all Covid guidelines as before,” says Dr Dilip Singhvi, Specialist Internal Medicine at Apollo Hospital.
“The social distancing and wearing masks should be strictly followed as Covid is still around us. This should not be taken as an opportunity to roam around with friends and relatives,” adds Jishy Sebi, Clinical Dietician at KIMS.