Muttrah to have two more testing centres

Muscat: The concerted efforts of the Ministry of Health and the Supreme Committee dealing with the Covid-19 situation, is becoming successful and encouraging more and more people to come out for tests.

MoH is all set to open two more testing centres, one at Hassan bin Thabit School and the other next to the Muttrah Wali Office building. These centres are in addition to four others in the area.

Added with this is the role of the volunteers who are visiting the households and convincing the residents that no IDs are needed for Covid-19 tests.

Abdullah al Sharji, Head of Ports Health, who is now stationed at Sablat Muttrah said, “We are not asking for resident cards when people are coming here, but asking for contact numbers to inform them the test results so that we can give them more care in terms of health facilities.  If they do not have separate accommodation then we are offering them accommodation at our institutions located in Gala.  If they have accommodation that can give them space for isolation then they are free to go back home.”

The visitors coming for tests are greeted with hand sanitiser and a masks if needed, said Al Sharji commenting on precautions being taken at the centres.

All the time two ambulances are parked along with buses at each of the centres.  “It there are people coming from far off places, then we use the bus for transportation but the bus can accommodate only seven people at a time because we need to maintain social distancing.  The ambulances are available just in case there are any emergencies,” added Al Sharji.

Dr Salwa bint Nasser al Hashmi, HoD Emegency Crises, explained “We are encouraging everyone who has symptoms to get tested.”

What could be those symptoms?

Explaining the symptoms, she said, “The symptoms related to the Covid-19 are headache, sore throat, running nose, chest pain, cough or diarrhea.  If anyone is suffering from any of these symptoms then please come and get tested.  We do not need any identity card. All we need is for a person to come here and we will take care of the rest.”

The medication, according to Dr Salwa, is symptomatic. “If you have fever, we advise to have paracetamol after being consulted by a doctor, but avoid as much as possible medications like anti-inflammatory drug brufen, which is not good in this case.  If it is cough then we will give medication and the same when it is diarrhoea.  That is how we are treating at this moment.”

According to Dr Salwa, there has been excellent response from the community.

About 15 volunteers from the community are helping the medical teams by encouraging the nationals and residents to come forward to get tested.

“We have had people with different nationalities who come forward and took this test.  We have lots of volunteers going around and knocking the doors and inviting people to come for the test.  The testing and medication is free here,” added Dr Salwa.

Sister Badriya al Jabry, member of the medical team working at Muttrah Sabla said, “There are a few important questions that are asked, as ‘what to do if anyone else in the family has any similar symptoms?”

“We check the vitals and if there are any concerns the doctors here proceed to take the samples. That will be taken to the Central Public Health Laboratories.  During that time until the results are determined, the individual will have to stay in isolation within their house (separate room with attached bathroom) if possible, or in the accommodation provided by the ministry.”

The timing for Covid-19 testing at all the centres is from 9am to 1pm every day.