Governments around the world having done their part to curb the spread of COVID-19, it is now the role of the community to take collective and strong steps to prevent the second wave of infection as the battle against the common enemy continues.
H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said on Thursday that the second wave in most countries was inevitable.
“If we adhere to the precautionary and preventive measures, it can be avoided. The sultanate is still in the first wave,” he said.
All partners of international community and country leaders are encouraging to proactively take actions to fight the COVID-19 together; hard times are yet to end in many countries including Oman.
“I am sure that we will overcome this pandemic. No one in the government and committees wants us to return to the state of closure. So I call on everyone to adhere to the precautionary measures and spread awareness in the community,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.
As there is resumption of more activities, there is a need for self-monitoring and social awareness.
“Some countries took decisions to shut down again a few establishments and we hope that we will not be compelled to take such decisions. The number of casualties has reduced since July, but for this rate of decrease to continue depends on the extent of adherence to preventive measures.”
According to Dr Ahmed al Mandhari, WHO regional director for the Eastern Mediterranean, this week, the region reached another milestone as it surpassed 2mn COVID-19 cases.
“We are observing developments that remind us again that we must remain totally vigilant in managing this virus. Several countries that had successfully controlled transmission a few months ago, including Morocco, Tunisia, Jordan and Lebanon, are now seeing an acceleration of cases,” Dr Mandhari said.
As social gatherings and population mobility increase, international travel resumes, and levels of mask use remain low, it is perhaps inevitable that we see a resurgence of new cases across the region.
“The challenge for us all is to ease these measures in a manner and at a pace that minimises the public health threat. It is now more critical than ever to protect those who have not yet been infected, especially the most vulnerable,” Dr Mandhari said.
To reduce risk of transmission in the coming weeks and months, individuals and communities must continue to implement the well-known and proven prevention measures, especially in settings such as social gatherings, schools and other public events.
“We appreciate the commitment of most segments of society. It is necessary to wear face masks. The countries that succeeded in overcoming the pandemic did not succeed because of government measures only, but as a result of everyone’s sense of responsibility and commitment to follow the precautionary measures,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.