Muscat: The Sultanate is one of the most-prepared Arab countries to deal with COVID-19, the United Nations report said
Oman News Agency (ONA) said in a statement, "A new report issued by the United Nations, entitled "COVID-19 and the Arab Region - An Opportunity To Rebuild Better" stated that the Sultanate is one among the most prepared Arab countries to confront COVID-19."
"The report pointed to the high ranking of the Sultanate in indicators of human development and health care and the ability to communicate. With 0.834 points in the Human Development Index and a high-rate of spending on health that reached 4.3% of the gross domestic product, Oman also has a high score on the index of ability to communicate in view of the high number of subscriptions in mobile phones and the high number of fixed broadband subscriptions."
The report pointed out, "The outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic revealed serious faults and deep weaknesses in societies, institutions and economies around the world, indicating that the Arab region, which includes 436 million people, was able to take early and firm measures that kept the levels of outbreaks and deaths below the global average initially. Although it has recently seen cautious trends, particularly with regard to health care systems and inadequate primary care in a number of countries."
UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, "The region is blessed with tremendous diversity and huge potential, yet all Arab countries face difficulties in responding, slowing down of the economy, the sharp drop in oil prices, remittances and tourism due to the outbreak of the virus."
Guterres predicted that the region's economy would experience a decline of more than 5 per cent, as some countries face a contraction of more than 10 per cent."
He pointed out that, "People stuck in armed conflicts face special challenges, especially the 26 million refugees and internally displaced people. They are among the most vulnerable to the virus."