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Learn to live with COVID-19: Health minister

6 Jun 2020 By SHADDAD AL MUSALMY

Even though the number of COVID-19 cases are rising, indicating that the coronavirus is not going to go away, citizens and residents in Oman need to focus on staying safe while learning to live with the situation. 

H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, reiterated His Majesty the Sultan’s directives to co-exist, adapt and adjust to the disease and said that this cannot be achieved without the collaboration of all and commitment to health instructions.

“The virus has changed many of our daily life practices which may continue for a long time. We have to adapt to the situation in a safe way,” he said. 

“There are some grandparents who have not seen their grandchildren for more than three months, and there are parents who have been deprived of seeing their children. Coexistence means the possibility of visiting each other while keeping a physical distance of two or more metres and wearing masks,” he added.

H E Dr Sa’eedi pointed out that life has to go back to normal. He also said that there is a plan to re-open airports apart from other activities. “A committee has been tasked with devising measures and procedures to open up the airports. In case travel is allowed, testing will be performed therein, as well as in government and private health establishments for travelers before they set out on their trips,” he explained. 

He said that the health sector in Oman is intact, solid and coping with the pandemic, thanks to the strong support of His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik. He recalled the Sultan’s affirmation – when he chaired the meeting of the Supreme Committee last week – that the ultimate goal is to protect the health of citizens and residents in Oman.

  1. “This Royal attention is not restricted to the pandemic (circumstances), but it applies to all conditions, with equal emphasis on sustained performance of the government and private sector,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.

He added that Oman is well placed to tackle the situation. “In case of the increase in COVID-19 cases, we have a a plan to increase the number of beds in Intensive Care Units. The basic health programmes of the sultanate have not been affected, including the vaccination programme which achieved 99 per cent coverage of target groups, which is a very high percentage at the global level,” he said.

H E Dr Sa’eedi reaffirmed that Oman does not discriminate between citizens and residents in treatment or diagnostic tests as far as COVID-19 is concerned. “So far, not a single expat patient has been asked to pay even one rial against treatment for COVID-19. The government is bearing the full cost of treatment of such cases if the expatriate does not have a sponsor or health insurance. The sultanate does not discriminate between citizens and residents in treatment or diagnostic tests,” he said.

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