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SQUH ICU filled to capacity

14 Oct 2020

As a result of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases, the intensive care unit (ICU) at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital is packed to capacity with novel coronavirus patients.

“The health sector is under severe pressure; the ICU unit at SQUH is 100 per cent full,” Dr Abdul Hakim Yaqoub al Hashem, consultant doctor of internal medicine at the hospital, told Oman TV in an interview.  

 “The ICU at SQUH was occupied only 50 per cent just a month ago. Now the unit is 100 per cent full with COVID-19 patients. This is creating psychological pressure on the doctors. 

“We hope that everyone adheres to health measures such as wearing musk, washing hands frequently, physical distancing and following the directives of the Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19,” said Dr Hashem.

On Wednesday, the Ministry of Health (MoH) confirmed 563 new cases of COVID-19, taking the total to 107,776. The number of deaths reported during the same time was eight. The number of those who have recovered has also increased by 351.

 ‘The number of recoveries has increased to 93,908, while the number of deaths now stands at 1,061,’ an MoH statement said. As of Wednesday, a total of 542 patients were admitted in health institutions, including 216 in ICUs.

Night duty pharmacies

The MoH confirmed that pharmacies on night duty and 24-hour operations are allowed to operate during the 8pm to 5am curfew, based on the schedule of shifts issued by the Directorate General of Pharmaceutical Affairs and Drug Control. 

Gathering of four or more people a violation: ROP  

 In line with the directives of the Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 which make a meeting of two families a violation, the Royal Oman Police (ROP) has warned that four or more people coming together is considered a social gathering. 

“According to the Supreme Committee guidelines, all types of gatherings are banned,” an ROP official said.  

 The North Sharqiyah Police Command stopped a group of expatriates from gathering in violation of these directives recently and has started legal procedures against them.

“The Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 will determine whether to publish their names and photos or not,” the ROP official said.   

“The Supreme Committee has banned all types of gatherings and those found violating the directive by hosting or organising gatherings will be slapped with a fine of RO1,500, while those taking part will be fined RO100,” the official said. 

“The Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 will determine whether to publish their names and photos or not,” the ROP official said.   

“The Supreme Committee has banned all types of gatherings and those found violating the directive by hosting or organising gatherings will be slapped with a fine of RO1,500, while those taking part will be fined RO100,” the official said. 

Airport drive-through testing facility reopens   
 

The drive-through PCR testing facility at Muscat International Airport, which opened on October 1 coinciding with commencement of flights in Oman, was reopened on Wednesday after being temporarily closed. 

The facility proved popular within a short span of time and had to be suspended owing to technical reasons.     

Speaking to Muscat Daily, an Oman Airport Management Company official said, “The process for obtaining a pri-nted copy of the PCR test certificate is now available after a few days suspension due to technical issues. The service can be accessed from the drive-through PCR testing facility available in parking area P5 at Muscat International Airport.”     

He added, “Our team has been working in the last few days on developing a new method to facilitate the process of obtaining the PCR test report and certificate in response to the feedback received on the previous process.” 

Registration and the test cost RO19 and results were available in 24 hours.

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