Oman confirmed that it has recorded Indian, British and South African variants of the coronavirus.
In an interview with Oman TV, Dr Mohammed Saeed al Toubi, a medical laboratory specialist, said that laboratories in the sultanate have monitored the spread of these mutated strains of the virus.
“There is an increase in infections due to the Indian strain, or the Delta variant, which spreads 60 per cent faster than the original,” Dr Toubi said.
He added that Oman has conducted about 2mn tests for COVID-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic. “The sultanate conducts up to 10,000 tests daily, with a positive rate of 26 per cent.”
The Ministry of Health stated on Sunday that 435,090 individuals in the sultanate had been administered COVID-19 vaccines till June 12, accounting for 12 per cent of the population.
The number of people who received the first dose was 264,335, or 61 per cent of the total vaccinated, while 170,755, or 39 per cent, received both doses.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Health Services of Muscat Governorate, in cooperation with Oman Automobile Association (OAA) and Aster al Raffah Polyclinic, started a drive-through vaccination facility on Sunday for target groups eligible for the second dose. Employees of the state’s administrative apparatus are also eligible for vaccination in this facility in Seeb.
The directorate directed individuals in target groups to carry their ID and employment cards for documentation and vaccination from June 13 to June 18, 4pm to 9pm.
As many as 3,551 individuals are still in 599 institutional quarantine centres, according to Hamoud bin Mohammed al Mundhiri, official spokesman for the Ministry of Social Development’s Relief and Shelter Sector.
Speaking to Muscat Daily, Mundhiri said, “We registered 43,986 people in institutional quarantine centres in various shelters across different governorates since January 2021. There are 3,551 currently in institutional quarantine.”
Asked about the likelihood of a change in travel policy for those who received two doses of vaccine, he said, “On their return to the sultanate, travellers will be subjected to institutional quarantine as well as need to furnish a negative PCR test report. There is discussion between Gulf countries to issue a certificate of exemption from these procedures, but nothing has been finalised so far.”