Live Blog: Supreme Committee addresses press conference

Oman Monday 27/December/2021 11:15 AM
By: Times News Service
Live Blog: Supreme Committee addresses press conference
His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, Member of the Supreme Committee

Muscat: The Supreme Committee on Monday held a press conference, a day after it issued new decisions regulating the entry of travellers into the Sultanate of Oman.

Here are the latest updates:

1- As many as 69 new cases of coronavirus were registered in Oman.

2- His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, Member of the Supreme Committee says, “A patient was admitted to the hospital yesterday. There are now a total of 11 patients at health institutions and 2 are in intensive care. The patient who died yesterday, had not been vaccinated”

3- “The situation is still serious. There has been a doubling in the number of Covid-19 cases,” says Minister Al Saidi.

4- “A total of 10 per cent of Omani citizens have not yet taken the second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine. 4 per cent have not taken the first dose,” says Minister Al Saidi.

5- “While there have been expectations that a closure would be announced, the Supreme Committee has relied on the awareness in society. So no decisions that might affect the economy and social life were taken,” Minister Al Saidi says.

6- “There is no decision taken yet to make taking the third dose of the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory,” Minister Al Saidi says.

7- The Minister pointed out that a circular by the Ministry of Labour required all employees to submit a vaccination certificate to be allowed entry into the workplace.

8- Dr. Saif bin Salim Al Abri, Director General of Disease Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health says, “We expect an increase in the number of inpatients, in the coming days.”

9- “There are 16 confirmed cases of the omicron variant of Covid-19 in Oman currently and 90 more suspected cases which are currently undergoing genetic sequencing. They are in good health and all of them have been vaccinated so the cases are very mild. This is quite reassuring,”says Dr. Al Abri.

10- Health Minister Al Saidi urged everyone in Oman to get vaccinated. “Centres are open in all governorates and vaccines are available free of cost to residents and citizens. There is no reason for anyone not to take the vaccines.”

11- Mr. Bader bin Saif Al Rawahi,  Director of Communicable Diseases at the Ministry of Health, says, “Only 4 per cent of people in the Sultanate have been vaccinated with the third dose so far.”

12- Minister Al Saidi dismisses talks of a fourth dose of vaccines and says, “It is too early to talk about the fourth dose.”

13- Dr. Al Abri says, “The prevalence of the omicron variant is much higher than that of other variants.” He added, “We conduct approximately 4,000 to 5,000 tests daily.”

14- “The latest decisions issued by the Supreme Committee shall remain valid till January 31, 2022, if the situation does not worsen. But any decision may be changed depending on the situation, locally, regionally and globally,” says Minister Al Saidi.

15- Mr. Al Rawahi said on rumours on potentially dangerous side effects of vaccination. “There are no studies that prove that taking the vaccine causes fainting or sudden death.” He added, “The booster dose raises the immunity rate to 75 per cent.”

16- Reinfection with omicron variant possible for recovered patients, Dr. Al Abri says.

17- On a rumoured increase in flu cases in Oman, Dr. Al Abri said, “It is the flu season now in Oman. We have always been monitoring and tracking these cases. There is no increase in what is being recorded now compared to previous years.”

18- Dr. Al Abri says, “Most inpatients at hospitals are unvaccinated.” Minister Al Saidi added, “Whoever refuses to receive vaccines has the right to do so, but it is our duty as a government to protect society and public health. The health and other sectors have suffered enough. The situation is very painful and worse than what we saw in 2020.”

19- On travel between Oman and the United Arab Emirates, Minister Al Saidi says, “Movement of people continues to be facilitated.  Only citizens of both countries however can show a PCR test up to 14 days old in order to be permitted entry.”

20- Minster Al Saidi says, “There has been no increase witnessed in the number of Covid-19 cases in schools across Oman.”