Muttrah: Testing is only for those with COVID-19 symptoms

Muscat: Citizens and expatriates of Muttrah turned up in large numbers on Saturday at virus testing centres set up by the Ministry of Health as the Sultanate reported 62 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number to 546.

The virus has so far claimed lives of two Omanis and an expatriate. Testing is only for those with COVID-19 symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat and shortness of breath.

At all four testing centres set up in the Wilayat of Muttrah, the focal point of the pandemic in the country, people formed long queues from 7 am to be screened for COVID-19. These centres are open from 9 am to 1 pm every day.

The testing centres are at Muttrah Sabla and Primary Health Centre before the police station.

“We received expatriates for COVID-19 testing and the response is overwhelming”, a volunteer told the Observer.

Volunteers and multi-linguals living in and around Muttrah have been urged to help the MoH as the two challenges faced by the medical team are lack of people who can speak both Arabic as well as foreign languages, and volunteers who can manage the huge crowds visiting the testing centres.

Muscat Municipality, in association with the private sector, on Saturday continued the sterilisation operations in Muttrah. According to a statement from the civic body, all the designated places where the medical team began sampling and testing for the citizens and residents have fully been sterilized.

Muscat continues to top COVID-19 cases with  440 cases  (69 recovered, 3 deaths) followed by Al Dakhiliyah (34 cases, 15 recovered), South Batinah (26 cases, 4 recovered) Musandam (3  cases), Al Dhahirah (three cases, 1 recovered), South Sharqiyah (3 cases, 1 recovered), Buraimi (2 cases, 1 recovered), North Batinah (22 cases, 17 recovered) and Dhofar (9 cases, 1 recovered).

A total of 22 institutional quarantine centres located in Muscat Governorate have received 3,000 people, of whom 196 were discharged on Friday and 387 discharged on Saturday, according to Dr Mohammed al Saadi, supervisor of the relief and sheltering sector in Muscat Governorate.

The Ministry of Health has repeatedly advised all citizens and residents to wash hands with water and soap, as well as avoid touching the face, nose, mouth and eyes. One should cover  the face while coughing and sneezing.