Saturday, February 04, 2023 | Rajab 12, 1444 H
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Covid fear looms again

After months of hibernation, Covid seems to have raised its head again. It is time for the governments to come out with advisories, as people are in the middle of many questions giving the rumour mongers plot to perform again.

With the start of the holiday season and closure of schools, many are already enjoying vacation, while others are waiting in the wings. The spread of Covid’s new variant has put all travellers in a fix.

Mentally, they have gone to the days when there were travel restrictions, Covid tests, and the many documents to be readied before their actual travel.

Yusuf Ali, a Muscat resident with three school-going children, delayed departure to his home country to avoid high-ticket prices soon after the closure of the schools.

Now he is in a fix whether to go ahead with his travel or not. Because there may be restrictions in the days to come, and he would be stuck.

He is looking for some assuring notes from the governments and experts to give his vacation plan the go-ahead.

“So the situation is back when people have to monitor news sources on a daily basis to know and act accordingly as per the advisory of the competent authorities,” says Yusuf.

Taking note of the rising cases of Covid globally, the time has come when health, administrative, tour and travel agencies have to work in tandem and have a collaborative spirit, as was done during the previous surges.

So far, no case of the new variant has been found in the Sultanate of Oman, and things have been moving at a normal pace. The country has also achieved a good rate of vaccination among its citizens and residents.

Some countries, however, have started random testing for travellers after BF.7 variant cases surge in China. The variant, according to experts, has a high transmissibility as one carrier can infect up to 10 people.

At a time when Covid-related restrictions were relaxed in most countries, its renewed outbreak in some areas, particularly China, has reignited concerns, and people are asking – should they start wearing a mask again?

“It is a wait-and-watch situation for everyone,” say experts, but the people have to be on guard.

“Masking in any way is a good idea if you have any flu symptoms. This responsible behaviour at public places and offices will save others from getting the flu.”


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