The COVID-19 vaccination has played a significant role in bringing down the rate of hospitalisation in the sultanate, H E Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Sa’eedi, Minister of Health, said on Thursday.
“There has been a significant decrease in the number of patients hospitalised and those under intensive care. Precautionary measures must be followed despite the high rate of vaccination. The total doses Oman has received so far exceeds 3,950,000,” H E Dr Sa’eedi said.
“We have decided to book additional doses for those aged six years and over after some countries decided to go ahead with vaccination for this age group. We have reserved over 8,570,000 doses of vaccines so far,” he added.
On Thursday, only 101 new cases of COVID-19 were registered and two deaths reported bringing the total number of positive cases to 301,784 in the sultanate.
‘The total number of COVID-19-related deaths reached 4,049 and as many as 291,039 have recovered. The total number of current hospitalised patients stands at 147 including 68 in intensive care units,’ the Ministry of Health said.
CoviShield, Pfizer, Moderna, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca are the eight vaccines approved for use in Oman, H E Dr Sa’eedi said. “We expect every Omani citizen to receive the second dose by mid-September, and accordingly, we can start implementing the measures issued by the Supreme Committee,” he said.
“Vaccines prevent the severity of the disease, reduce the rate of hospitalisation and reduce deaths, but they do not prevent transmission of the virus. There are countries where the vaccination rate has reached 80 per cent, but the infections have returned.”
Speaking about the third dose of COVID-19 vaccines, H E Dr Sa’eedi, said, “The idea of a third dose, scientifically, is premature. The World Health Organisation has not recommended a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
H E Dr Sa’eedi said that Omani citizens abroad who are not vaccinated will be allowed in. “No Omani citizen who is abroad and has not been vaccinated will be prevented from returning to Oman, provided that precautionary measures are followed.
“Even with new changes to the rules, Oman reserves the right to ask for COVID-19 tests on arrival. There has been an uproar over these tests to be taken before arrival, on arrival and after quarantine, but unfortunately, many tests carried out globally may be fake.”