Friday, May 14, 2021 | Shawwal 1, 1442 H
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EDITOR IN CHIEF- ABDULLAH BIN SALIM AL SHUEILI

Let’s avert a Corona Hurricane!

Yousuf
Yousuf

Even with the increase in infection rates again and with a new wave of the coronavirus (Covid-19) in the Sultanate and across the world, some people still violate the rules that govern how to behave with others and adhere to health requirements.


Perhaps people’s alertness to staying away from public gathering appears to be slowing. Regardless of the immunisation of some groups so far, unfortunately it has become clear that we are slowly losing our grip with the increase in cases in the past few days.


Nevertheless, we still have reason for optimism. Vaccination rates are on the rise and large shipments of coronavirus vaccine have reached the Sultanate and will continue to flow.


Without a doubt, the vaccine is the key to slowing the spread of the virus, which is often silent, stressing the fact that this is not the time to relax, but the other way round.


The government is trying its best to provide the vaccine as soon as possible. Thus, as we all wish that this pandemic ends in the near future, we must also be more careful at present and cooperate with the government efforts to reduce the spread of the virus.


The problem is that the lapses of individuals in our society not only slow us down, but rather we have gone backwards as the previous wave of corona was last year.


After having made a lot of progress in collaboration with the Supreme Committee for Pandemic Follow-up, at the present we are very much exposing our health to risk. In other words, we are facing the grave danger of failing to contain the major pandemic and its ‘hurricane’!


Did you not notice that some people are looking for any loophole in those instructions recommended by the Supreme Committee to suit them? What I mean is that some people (especially those who have been vaccinated) think that “if I can meet with another unvaccinated family, why can’t we have big meetings?”


However, here we all realise that many of these decisions, despite good intentions, will create a mixture of post-vaccination behaviours, many of which will be miscalculations of risk. And some people who believe they have acted responsibly last year presume they are more immune to the virus.


Even worse, the feeling of exception makes it easy to say: Well, familial gathering, for instance eight to ten people, might be fine and no harm. Thus, a new cause of the coronavirus outbreak is created.


On the other hand, it is true that vaccines have raised our hopes and it is a tool that increases the level of safety, especially if we inoculate most of the community members in the near future.


However, this new trend may with passing of time create small illusion. As soon as they hear the words “it’s getting safer”, people can unintentionally push them to fully focus on “safe” and begin to quickly reduce the interest in health requirements. However, the goal here is not to reduce the importance of vaccines. It’s excellent and actually protects millions of people from the many complications of the coronavirus, but it is good to remember that the virus that the vaccines are fighting against continues to mutate.


We cannot take the end of the pandemic game for granted. As we know that more infections will be followed by more opportunities for the virus to spread and possible mutations, and may also slip away from our defences. Is it not? My message to everyone here is: Stop this possibility, we still have to consider our collective risks, not just our individual risks!


Dr Yousuf Ali al Mulla, MD, Ministry of Health, is a medical innovator and educator. For any queries regarding the content of the column he can be contacted at: dryusufalmulla@gmail.com


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