With record number of hospital and intensive care unit admissions due to COVID-19, health institutions in several parts of the sultanate are under tremendous pressure.
Dr Abdul Rahman al Yamani, a doctor in Sohar Hospital, said the number of patients has increased significantly in ICUs. “Doctors are making a great effort and working hours have increased considerably. We urge all members of society to get vaccinated and follow the precautionary measures to limit the spread of the virus.”
Sohar Hospital has announced that it will transfer a few cases requiring surgical procedures to private hospitals.
‘Due to rising infections and in the context of the stricter precautionary measures, Sohar Hospital will transfer some surgeries to private health institutions in the governorate under the supervision of the hospital. Referred patients will be contacted and coordinated,’ the Directorate General of Health Services in North Batinah Governorate said in a statement.
Buraimi Hospital announced an occupancy rate of 128 per cent in its COVID-19 ward and 187 per cent in its ICU, where 37 per cent of patients are on ventilators. The hospital has allocated other wards to accommodate the increasing number of COVID-19 patients.
In Muscat, Sultan Qaboos University Hospital had 90 inpatients on Wednesday, although it has a capacity of 55 beds. Stretching its limited resources, the hospital had 44 intensive care patients even though it has a capacity of 21 ICU beds.
Elsewhere, the Directorate General of Health Services in Dakhliyah Governorate announced suspension of services at the Birkat al Mouz and Tanouf health centres from June 27 until further notice. According to a statement, the closure would facilitate redirecting resources to Nizwa Hospital, which has seen an increase in COVID-19 patients.
Reiterating the fact that benefits of vaccine far outweigh the side effects, Dr Hamed al Kalbani from the Department of Cardiac Surgery, Sorbonne University, Paris, said, “Anyone who wants to know the importance of taking the vaccine should look at Musandam. In the last 12 days, the governorate registered zero COVID-19 related deaths. It has one patient in intensive care and two in the COVID-19 ward.”
Urging all to get vaccinated, Dr Zakaria bin Yahya al Balushi, infectious diseases consultant at The Royal Hospital, said there is urgent need to spread awareness on the benefits. “The vaccine is the only way to return to a safe, normal life. We must stop sending any message that discourages taking the vaccine.”
With more patients in hospitals than they can handle, non-profits and charities are providing oxygen concentrators for patients recovering at home.
Ihsaan Association, in cooperation with the General Directorate of Health Services in Muscat, has provided more than 20 oxygen devices to needy families. “The association will provide more oxygen devices for the elderly in the coming days,” said Jokha al Farsi, head and founder of Ihsaan Association.