Muscat: More than 600 medical workers in Oman have tested positive for COVID-19, a senior official at the Ministry of Health has said.
Dr. Mohammad bin Saif Al Hosni, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Health Affairs, said to Shabiba FM, "The number could increase if the rate of infection in Oman continues to grow, and will have an impact on the medical services provided in the Sultanate."
“The total number of infections among medical staff has exceeded 600, and most of them have been infected because of community transmission,” he explained. “These numbers are expected to grow as the infection increases in society and this will mostly impact medical services in the country,” he added.
As of 20 July, Oman has reported 68,400 cases, according to the Ministry of Health’s Tarassud COVID-19 monitoring app. A total of 45,510 people have recovered, while 22,924 are still sick. 326 people have lost their lives because of the disease, and nearly 275,000 have been so far tested. Mohammad Al Hosni asked anyone suffering from the symptoms of COVID-19 to get themselves tested at the earliest.
“Anyone having symptoms such as coughing, sneezing or breathing problems must isolate themselves and continue until the COVID-19 test results confirm that they are not infected,” said the undersecretary, who went on to add that approximately four to six thousand COVID tests are being conducted across Oman every day. The increase in testing, however, means that it can take longer to get their results back."
"Oman is expected to need 184 beds when the virus reaches its peak in the country, with 170 beds in ICUs currently occupied by COVID patients in the Sultanate, which is quite a high number,” he explained. “This COVID-19 infection is not an inevitable thing...we can avoid this disease by taking precautionary measures. The infection rate has increased among Omanis as they failed to take precautionary steps.”
According to Al Hosni, a significant increase in COVID-19 infections among Omanis was witnessed during Eid Al Fitr, owing to large-scale gatherings of people. He asked people to stop meeting in large numbers for the time being, so as to bring down the level of infection in the country.
“We have witnessed a big jump in numbers after Eid Al-Fitr due to public gatherings,” he admitted. “I request everyone to learn a lesson from the past and to be patient right now, and avoid gatherings during holidays. If the visit is necessary, the individual must stick to social distancing and wear masks accordingly.
"Avoid visiting, gathering, or mingling with each other during the Eid Al Adha holidays,” the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health for Health Affairs stressed. “The COVID-19 virus is not as infectious as measles or other viruses. So, we can avoid getting infected by taking precautions and following the health and safety instructions. Masks should be worn if anyone visits your home.”
Locals and expats in Oman should also be on the lookout and follow any new announcements issued by the Supreme Committee to deal with COVID-19, should they be made.
“Everyone should be careful and must avoid becoming infected, because we don't know how immune one's body is to the disease, and how the complications arising out of the infection may affect them,” Al Hosni advised