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We cannot say we have reached peak of COVID-19: Dr Hosani

28 Apr 2020

The rate of infection from one person with COVID-19 to others in Oman is quite low, thanks to the social distancing measures undertaken to control the spread of the coronavirus, the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Oman has said. 

The rate of infection, or R0, pronounced ‘R naught’, in Oman is between 1.2 and 1.49, according to Dr Mohammed bin Saif al Hosani, Undersecretary for Health Affairs, MoH. 

R0 indicates the average number of people who will contract a contagious disease from one person with that disease. It specifically applies to a population of people who were previously free of infection and haven’t been vaccinated.

“Since the epidemic began, the rate is still between 1.2 and 1.49, meaning that every 10 people can cause the transmission of infection to approximately 12-14 people,” Dr Hosani said. 

He said that the restrictions in the sultanate will continue until the number of cases appear to decrease with the simultaneous increases in tests conducted. “Thankfully, we have been able to provide rapid molecular tests in all reference hospitals in the sultanate as well as private sector hospitals. Rapid molecular examinations takes half an hour to 45 minutes. While the standard examination is slow and takes about three and a half hours.”

He explained that the peak of the pandemic is when a country records the highest number of COVID-19 cases but we cannot say that we have reached there, unless we pass it. “The ministry does not expect to register thousands of cases per day. The most serious numerical model indicates that we may record 1500 cases per day, and need 184 beds in the intensive care per day,” said Dr Hosani. 

The Ministry has conducted 36,000 tests, he said, adding that the restrictive measures can be lifted when we are confident that the number of COVID-19 cases have begun to decline, which can be guaranteed only by conducting sufficient tests, at least 30 per cent of the total population as recommended by some epidemiological research centers.

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