Oman Devises Special Protocols To Detect UK COVID-19 Strain

The Sultanate of Oman has armed itself with special protocols to detect the COVID-19 strain that originated in the United Kingdom and has since been spreading rapidly globally.

As of today [Monday, February 1], Oman’s Ministry of Health has revealed that a total of six people have been confirmed infected with the mutant strain of the virus. This comes in the wake of the Sultanate’s ICU and hospital inpatient numbers soaring from 51 on January 21, 2021, to 102.

The new strain is notorious for its swift propagation but is yet to be confirmed as more fatal than the original parent strain of the Coronavirus.

In a press conference today, Dr. Ahmed al Saidi, the Minister of Health stated that the new strain emanating from the United Kingdom is globally active, but affirmed that Oman has put in place advanced facilities to detect it throughout all labs – whether it is at the Ministry of Health, Sultan Qaboos University, or other universities in the private sector.

The number of tests conducted in the Sultanate until yesterday [January 31, 2021] stood at 1.55mn, said the minister, who then pointed out that the number of Pfizer-BionNTech vaccination doses that were distributed stood at 39,772 – which have been administered to 27,400 people as a first shot and to 12,272 people as a second dose.

Dr. Amal al-Ma’ani, the Director of Contagion Control Department at the Ministry of Health, assured the public saying that the two vaccines available in the Sultanate will cover the new variants of the virus and that that the PCR test will show a ‘positive’ result within not more than three months.

Any positive result afterward will be an indicator that the tested person is indeed infected with the virus, either in its old or new variant, she added.

Dr. Amal then pointed out that as many as 96 people are feared infected with the new COVID-19 variants, but confirmation is yet to be made through the epidemiological survey on the source of the infections.

The mechanisms of treatment remain the same, even for the new strains of the virus, she added.

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