Will summer help in fight against Covid-19?

Muscat: A few weeks ago the Covid-19 situation was where no one knew what was to be expected; today the Sultanate is in the phase of witnessing the pandemic that has moved from people who were exposed to the virus while traveling or to the individuals who have come in contact with the virus.

“Back then we did not know what was needed but now we are in a stable phase where schools are closed, shops are locked and we are seeing almost a constant number of cases everyday so it is not exploding so it is a very good sign.  When we can get out of it – whether it is 10 or two weeks remains to be seen; anyway when we do come out of it we would have to do it gradually with a few steps at a time,” explained Dr Eskild Petersen, Directorate for Diseases Surveillance and Control, Ministry of Health.

When asked whether summer will help in the fight against the novel Coronavirus (Covid-19), the expert on infectious diseases said, “Well nobody knows.  We will have to wait and see as this is something we have not seen before.  Some people believe that the virus may not be able to survive the summer heat therefore the number of cases will go down.  But it is not something we have seen so far and other countries have not reported anything on it.  It is something we can hope but there is no data saying so.”

Dr Petersen said the important factor is that people are following the guidelines from the government and are staying at home.

The objective is to flatten the curve, but how do we know where we are at the curve?

“It is a good question but I do not think we can answer it.  We have not seen a peak in Oman.  Not every country sees a peak as in the case of Singapore and Hong Kong for instance, as they were able to take care of it from the beginning, yet in other countries who really did not manage to stop it went on to have an outbreak in places like Italy, Spain, UK and of course China in the beginning.  We hope we do not see a peak.  There is a spread in the community, so I hope in the next 10 to 15 days we can keep the numbers stable and not see a huge surge in the number of cases and then we can discuss on how to wane out of it and that would have to be planned as well,” he noted.

The Ministry of Health on Monday announced the registration of 33 new cases with Covid-19, bringing the total cases to 331 and two deaths.