National COVID-19 Survey in Al Buraimi

Al Buraimi: Al Buraimi Governorate along with other governorates is completing the first week of National COVID-19 Survey and that is expected to give an insight on the extent of virus infection within the Omani community.

The first cycle of the survey began on July 12 at the Directorate of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Control in Buraimi Governorate in coordination with other directorates of health services. After the first cycle, there will be a two weeks break throughout the governorates of the Sultanate.

“After several meetings, we established specific clinics for the participants of COVID-19 survey. At the polyclinic, once the participants come they are directed immediately to the special clinic and within five minutes the forms are filled with the assistance of the doctors,” explained Dr Ahmed Yar Mohammed al Balushi, Director of Disease Surveillance and Control, at Directorate General of Health Service, Al Buraimi Governorate.

Another aspect of the survey is the call centre with the facility of speakers of different popular languages to hold clear communication with the potential participants as the Ministry of Health has been randomly choosing the participants.

Dr Al Balushi explained further, “As this survey is for Omanis and non-Omanis, we have established call centers and many people are working there capable of speaking other languages for people who cannot speak Arabic or in some instances English as well.

So we have been able to communicate with them in their language.”

He pointed out there are challenges as in the case when some people do not respond to the call or others who do not have the right phone number.

“On the other hand, so many people are encouraging and want to participate in the serological survey,” he noted.

The number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing and he feels the main reason continues to be gathering of people.

“I feel the main cause of an increase in the cases is gathering whether it is at the workplace or family or in public places. So my advice to the public is to follow the instructions of the Supreme Committee and the Ministry of Health on maintaining the distance between people, wearing a mask in public places and crowded areas, and washing hands with soap frequently.

Especially during the Eid, we must avoid family gatherings. We have seen so many cases that have been transmitted because of the family as well as workplace gatherings. Please keep the distance and wear masks,” requested Dr Ahmed.