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269 new cases signal new low for Sultanate

Izah Azahari & Lyna Mohamad

The Sultanate recorded 269 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, the lowest number in weeks, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said at a press conference yesterday.

Of this figure, 257 cases were detected through antigen rapid test (ART), while 12 of the 780 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory tests conducted in the past 24 hours, returned positive.

The total number of cases reported since March 2020 is 138,530. Two Category 5 cases are being treated at the intensive care unit, while two Category 4 cases are being closely monitored and provided oxygen assistance.

As many as 338 recoveries were recorded, bringing the number of recovered cases to 136,073. Additionally, 2,242 active cases remain, 48 of whom are being treated at hospitals, while 2,194 are undergoing home self-isolation.

As of April 9, 1,845 vaccine doses had been administered to children between the ages of five and 11, bringing the latest figure to 5,668 doses or 13.2 per cent of children in the age group.

“Meanwhile, the coverage rate for the populace who had received three doses of the vaccine is at 62.2 per cent,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

Dhia Hakim’s children with the twins, Haziqah and Haziq, after being vaccinated against COVID-19. PHOTO: LYNA MOHAMAD

Meanwhile, the Bulletin caught up with parents to get their take on the COVID-19 vaccination programme for children.

Mohd Sahdi bin Maidin and his wife had deliberated for days on whether to vaccinate their twins, Haziqah and Haziq, before finally agreeing to let them have a say in the decision-making.

“We did not want to use the approach of telling them movement would be limited without the vaccination. So instead, we sought their views on it. To our surprise, they said they wanted to do it for their own safety,” he said.

The pair was vaccinated in Tutong District on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Dhia Hakim said she had initially held some degree of reluctance in vaccinating her two children, given that it is “relatively new.”

After adopting the ‘wait and see’ approach and much consideration, Dhia and her husband informed the children of the decision, which they agreed to.

“At the end of the day, it is all about protecting the kids,” Dhia said, before adding that she would not have forced them to get vaccinated had they suddenly developed cold feet.

“Alhamdulillah, both were brave and showed no signs of backing out. The efficient medical team and volunteers at the vaccination centre ensured the process was smooth-sailing.”