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Appeal to bolster health services to tackle pandemic

29 Jun 2021

Hilal bin Hamad al Sarimi, chairman of the Health and Environmental Committee of Majlis A’Shura, has issued a statement on the current surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths and the urgent need to contain the situation. 

Calling for setting up field hospitals in all governorates, Sarimi said, “It is necessary to provide all facilities for patients to receive treatment in every governorate and all retired healthcare workers and students of medical colleges can contribute to this national work.” 

He stressed on expediting the National Immunisation Campaign and said, “Provide vaccination for all age groups within a month at the most from now, irrespective of job, gender, age or any other criterion. We must seek the assistance of friendly and brotherly countries in providing vaccines wherever possible.”

Highlighting the need for testing centres across the sultanate for free examination and early detection of COVID-19 infection, he said, “It is not possible to control mutant strains except by targeting the source and testing these at an early stage. The private sector can contribute to this through free examination or nominal test fee not exceeding RO5 for citizens or residents.”

He also called for the formation of a committee to evaluate the healthcare provided to COVID-19 patients and emergency services in hospitals. “The committee’s main task should be to identify any shortcomings that led to the increase in the number of COVID-19 deaths. The committee must submit its report within two weeks to the Supreme Committee to decide the course of action in the next stage.” 

With reference to the financial impact of the pandemic on people, he said bank installments must be postponed for a period of six months for those affected by the current state of the economy. “We call on all sectors to stop collecting fees and taxes from small and medium enterprises for a period of not less than a year, and look into ways of supporting and facilitating SMEs,” Sarimi said. 

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