The Ministry of Health (MoH) on Monday announced the death of three more people infected with COVID-19 taking the total number of those who succumbed to the virus to 1,555. There has also been an increase in the number of patients in the country requiring intensive care prompting authorities to call for caution.
Of Monday, as many as 59 patients were in ICUs. The total number of patients admitted in health institutions was 171. The MoH reported 330 new cases, on Monday, taking the total number of infections to 139,692, of which 130,848 have recovered.
Dr Zakaria al Balushi, consultant – infections and infectious diseases at The Royal Hospital, described the spike in infections as ‘alarming’.
“If we compare figures from two weeks ago, the number of cases in the ICU at The Royal Hospital was three. Today, there are 11,” he said in an interview on Monday.
“Apart for ICUs, the number of COVID-19 patients has increased from five to 12 in this period in the hospital. These numbers indicate that infections are on the rise, and caution must be taken. We should treat this as a warning for people to take appropriate action.”
Dr Balushi informed that the cases in ICU are elderly and belong to the vaccine target groups. “This is a request for everyone in the category eligible for vaccination to get immunised to avoid any danger,” he said. “Some patients in ICU were offered vaccination but they refused.”
Dr Asmaa al Rubhi, a doctor at Dhank Health Centre, said the first phase of immunisation with the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was well received but in the last few days, there has been less acceptance for the second phase with the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
“We have been calling those in target groups to convince them to take the vaccine. We ask them not to pay heed to rumours,” she said.
Oman has suspended flights from ten countries for a period of 15 days. The decision will come into effect at midnight of February 25.
The Supreme Committee in charge of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic announced the decision to stop arrivals from Lebanon, Sudan, South Africa, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, Guinea, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia on Monday.
The ban includes people who have passed through these countries in the 14 days prior to their travel to Oman, as part of the efforts to protect people in the country from COVID-19. The decision excludes Omanis, diplomats and healthcare workers and their families.