Muscat: The Sultanate of Oman, including the Governate of Dhofar is currently witnessing an increase in cases of COVID-19, including infections by the Omicron variant.
Statistics indicate that active Covid-19 cases in the Governorate of Dhofar has gone up to 513. The number of cases since the beginning of the pandemic stands at 20,584, while the number of inpatients in the governorate has currently reached 16, including two in the ICU. The number of inpatient cases since the beginning of the pandemic has reached 1,990.
In view of this, the Directorate General of Health Services in the Governorate of Dhofar is implementing a number of plans and procedures to limit the spread of the infection. The steps include spread of awareness among the citizens about the risks and steps to prevent the infections.
Oman News Agency (ONA), in a statement, said the directorate is working with various players to put the decisions of the Supreme Committee on COVID-19 into effect, besides providing free vaccination in various wilayats of the governorate.
Dr Khalid bin Mohammad Al Mashikhi, Director-General of the General Directorate of Health Services in the Governorate of Dhofar, said : "All the facts at the global and regional level confirm the escalation and spread of the current wave of the new Omicron variant."
The Director-General said that negligence in taking preventive relating to travel requirements, immunisation, quarantine, social distancing, the use of masks and other measures, at the global or the national level, is a major factor aiding the spread of the disease.
Al Masikhi pointed out that appropriate and preventive measures had contributed greatly in checking the earlier waves of the pandemic, and reducing the damage caused to the health and lives of many people in various countries, and this applies to the Sultanate of Oman as well.
The Director General clarified that out of the 338,024 people above 12 years in age, eligible to receive the vaccine in the Governorate of Dhofar, 242,869 people had received the first and second doses taking the rate to 71.8 per cent. The percentage of expats who were vaccinated was 76.5 per cent , while Omanis vaccinated with both doses, accounted for 66.1 per cent .
"9.2 percent of the population in the Sultanate of Oman had received the third/ booster dose, most of them expats," Al Mashikhi said.
The latest statistics from the Ministry of Health also indicate that about 90 per cent of those who have been hospitalised since January 9, 2022, have not received the vaccine at all. Seven per cent of them have received just one dose and 2.5 per cent have received two doses.
"Despite the good vaccination coverage in the governorate, we are striving to achieve a higher percentage of coverage with the second dose." the doctor added.
He emphasised the importance of taking the third dose after an interval of not less than three months of the second dose. The third/ booster dose, is available free of charge to all target groups of citizens and residents in all wilayats of the Dhofar Governorate, he said.