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Spread optimism not rumour to tide over this crisis, say experts

18 Mar 2020

Cooperating with government agencies by adhering to the stipulated measures and following the advice of healthcare professionals is the need of the hour. 

Shaikh Ibrahim Abdulaziz, an imam at one of the mosques in Muttrah, said it is important to adhere to all safety guidelines. 

“People should be optimistic and follow the instructions issued by the Supreme Committee for dealing with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). People also have to adhere to all health guidelines of the Ministry of Health,” he said. 

“Worshippers should also adhere to preventive measures of the Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs (MARA) such as not shaking hands, avoiding hugs and just saying ‘peace be upon you’. Workers at mosques should continue sterilising the mosques and taking great care of its hygiene.” 

Optimism is the way forward said Khaid Tabook, head of the Family Guidance and Counseling Department at the Ministry of Social Development.  

“By adhering to the preventive measures of the concerned authorities we can help contain the disease and that is what our aim should be at the moment. Avoid spreading rumours but spread optimism among people. Take lessons from the experiences of countries that have high incidences of COVID-19,” he said. 

Idris al Faliti, a research psychologist and board member of Children First Association in Muscat, said that vaccines are not a cure for any disease. “We would like to remind everyone that vaccines are meant to prevent, protect and not cure. The more anxious a person is, the lower his immunity gets, and the more susceptible he is to infection. Older people and children are advised to stay away from large social gatherings.” 

If you want to help curb the spread adhere to the safety norms.  

“Newborns, children with chronic diseases, and mothers who have recently delivered should try to avoid going out of the house. Panic and bulk buying, and sharing of negative messages without checking their sources should be avoided at all costs. Logic should dominate emotion. Avoid spreading the disease through hugs and handshakes,” said Faliti. 

The ministry urges all citizens and residents to follow healthy habits and avoid attending cinema halls. It has also advised against travelling unless absolutely necessary. 


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