Muscat: The Sultanate has booked over 1.8 million doses of the Coronavirus vaccine and hopes to vaccinate 60 per cent of the community.
Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed al-Saeedi, the Minister of Health and Member of the Supreme Committee tasked with tackling developments resulting from Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, has said that the Sultanate seeks to obtain COVID-19 vaccine from any globally accredited institution.
He reaffirmed that the vaccine will be procured after checking its safe use on a global level. So far, a total of 1,800,030 (1 million, eight hundred thousand, thirty) doses were reserved for the Sultanate as a first batch, said the minister, hoping that the consignment will be received before the end of this year and that the second batch will be 1,800,000 (1 million and eight hundred thousand) doses.
“We hope to vaccinate about 60 per cent of citizens and residents so that we could attain total immunity in the community,” said Dr. Ahmed.
The minister made the statement during the 18th press conference held by the Supreme Committee since the outbreak of the pandemic, held at the Ministry of Education today.
The minister deplored the “continuous holding of undercover weddings and gatherings held in closed areas”, describing that as a blatant violation of instructions issued by the Supreme Committee.
This type of negative behavior undermined the efforts of the health sector very seriously, said Dr. Ahmed, noting that nighttime lockdown yielded positive results, and so did all the measures undertaken by the Supreme Committee whose decisions are well-studied and do not merely seek to chastise, but to deter such violators.
In other comments, he said that 80 per cent of cases of infection are individually-driven within society, while only 20 per cent occur are caused (as a result of negligence) in establishments.
“To revert back to normal life, we have to stick to precautionary measures,” said the minister, noting that the Supreme Committee reached reasoning that the use of fingerprint systems to prove attendance at the workplace should not cause the spread of infection provided necessary precautions are undertaken.
In his turn, Dr. Saif bin Salim al Abri, Director-General of Disease Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health, said that studies provide total and partial lockdown periods have had a direct impact on the decline of infection cases. The periods of lockdown were aimed at protecting the health sector so that it could accommodate existing cases at hospitals and intensive care units, he added.
Dr. Saif pointed out that the main cause of the current upward trend in death cases is the fact that these numbers reflect pre-lockdown periods. “Actual lockdown period results will show only next week and we will observe a decline in the number of deaths,” said Dr. Saif.
He explained that only 6 per cent cases at border checkpoints test positive for COVID-19. The Ministry of Health will follow a system of epidemic detection inside schools and that health workers will be trained to carry out the programme, in which students will be checked right from the moment they leave their homes to the time they return.
*Title image used for illustrative purposes only. Image courtesy: Shutterstock