Covid-19: Oman still on upward curve, but slow

Muscat: The Ministry of Health has confirmed that it has sufficient number of Coronavirus testing kits all of which are molecular tests that meet the standard set by the World Health Organization and US Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Molecular tests for rapid detection of COVID-19 deliver results in between 30 minutes and 45 minutes while the standard test produces results in three and a half hours.

The infection curve’s upward movement has been slow thanks to restrictive measures and there is no other way but to commit to the social distancing and preventive measures, Dr Mohammed bin Saif al Hosani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Health told Oman Arabic, sister publication of the Observer.

The peak of the pandemic is the period when a country records the highest number of COVID-19 cases but we cannot say that we have reached the peak unless we pass it, Al Hosani said.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Sultanate the infection rate has hovered around 1.2 and 1.4 which means 10 Coronavirus patients can transmit the disease to 12-14 other people. According to the indicators, social and physical distancing measures were more effective among Omanis than residents.

He added: “Only when the number of COVID-19 cases come down and less cases are registered compared with the previous days based on a sufficient number of tests, then we can say that we have passed the peak of the pandemic.

The restrictive measures can be lifted when we are confident that the number of Coronavirus cases has begun to decline which can be guaranteed only by conducting sufficient tests, at least 30 per cent of the total population as recommended by some epidemiology research centers. This target has not been met in the Sultanate so far but a total of 36,000 tests have conducted thus far.

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