The Ministry of Health is working with private hospitals to vaccinate blue-collar workers at the earliest in its efforts to immunise the entire population of the sultanate.
Speaking about the initiative, Dr Mazin al Khabouri, director general of Private Health Establishments in the Ministry of Health (MoH), informed that blue-collar workers in the special economic zones of Duqm, Sohar, Salalah and Mazyona are already being vaccinated free of charge.
“We will also start vaccinating them in Dhofar as the khareef season will start soon. Private healthcare institutions have taken a huge vaccination load; they have been to various places which are not quite accessible. We understand the role of everyone, including blue-collar workers, in society and everyone’s life is important,” Dr Khabouri said.
According to Dr Khabouri, the ministry is in talks with various private hospitals to vaccinate labourers and “action will be taken very soon”.
He added that private healthcare institutions are working shoulder-to-shoulder with the public sector to vaccinate the entire population in the country.
“We will have more sectors, more opportunities and outlets for private organisations to vaccinate the people, including blue-collar workers.
“Our vaccination programme is going on at full steam and everyone, irrespective of nationality and community, is being given the opportunity to get vaccinated.”
Jacob Oommen, chief operating officer and project head for COVID-19 vaccinations at Badr al Samaa Group of Hospitals, said, “Being the largest private healthcare provider in Oman, we have got the majority of companies and corporates that registered with MoH enrolled for vaccinations. Since we are present everywhere in Oman, we have already covered many blue-collar workforce intensive companies in sectors like construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, sanitation, etc.”
Oommen informed that the group has multiple teams visiting labour camps everyday to expand vaccine coverage safely and conveniently. “Labour camps are high risk zones since a large number of people stay together. These are on our priority list and in association with MoH, we aim to cover all such companies immediately which have chosen us for their vaccination programme.”
An official of Aster al Raffah also confirmed that a team from the hospital will visit labour camps to conduct vaccination drives in the coming days.