Be cautious, COVID-19 risk is still high!

A sharp decline in the number of COVID-19 infection cases has been registered recently, as cases dropped from 26 per cent in the past few months to 4 per cent

Even as most business activities have opened in the Sultanate, the authorities warn that risk from the coronavirus is still high and need to exercise high caution.
“Re-opening of more activities does not mean any ‘business-as-usual’ condition. The risks posed by the virus are still high”, warned Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Saeedi, Minister of Health.
The minister made the statement during the weekend media briefing held by the Supreme Committee.
While urging all the sections of the society to follow the precautionary measures, Dr Ahmed hoped that “the Supreme Committee would not be compelled to again impose a lockdown”.
To avoid any peaks of the pandemic that might jeopardise health services and programmes, he said that all people should cooperate with the health authorities and listen to their advice.
A sharp decline in the number of COVID-19 infection cases has been registered recently, as cases dropped from 26 per cent in past few months to 4 per cent thanks to a number of factors, including public cooperation in implementing precautionary measures.
However, said Dr Ahmed, “the number of infection cases might pick up again if commitment to health procedures is relaxed”.
From December 6, the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling the COVID-19 situation allowed re-opening of a new set of activities including beaches, parks, cinemas and museums, in addition to the issuance of tourist and other visas.
Other activities that were allowed to reopen included restaurants in shopping malls, health clubs, tourist destinations, rehabilitation and curative centres, nurseries as well as kindergartens and amusement parks. Children aged 12 and below have been allowed into all activities.
While infection cases continue to fluctuate locally and globally, the situation is being closely monitored in Oman, Dr Ahmed said.
COVID-19 has been recorded as a cause of death in 0.5 per cent of the cases, with an estimated mortality rate of 8.2 per 100,000 population out of a total population of 4.49 million in the Sultanate.
The most affected chronic diseases in admissions in general wards and intensive care units, as well as deaths, were diabetics with 2.9 per cent and those with high blood pressure accounted for 0.7 per cent.
Dr Badr bin Saif al Rawahi, Director of Disease Control Department at the Ministry of Health, said that COVID-19 vaccination is expected to begin early next year, with priority to be accorded to high-risk or vulnerable like people aged above 65 years and diabetics or patients with kidney failure or chronic lung infection.
Also included in the priority list are employees at intensive care units and COVID-19 care units, as well as to patients admitted to these units.

 

SAMUEL KUTTY
@samkuttyvp