Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Close contact gets new definition

James Kon

The Ministry of Health (MoH) has redefined what it means to be a ‘close contact’ in the context of the third wave of the COVID-19 outbreak in the Sultanate.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said a close or primary contact is an individual sharing a same household with a COVID-positive individual, as well as a colleague sharing the same room, space or sitting next to a COVID-positive person.

The term close contact will also be used on an individual who has had a face-to-face interaction with a COVID-positive person for over 30 minutes at a distance of less than one metre in an enclosed area or indoors, as well as someone who has been in a vehicle and sat at close range (no more than two seats away) from a COVID-positive individual for over 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to facilitate the provision of public services, particularly for individuals travelling abroad, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said that the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) swab test will be conducted at Jerudong Park Medical Centre (JPMC) starting today and at the Panaga Health Centre starting tomorrow. Services at such centres will incur charges, which will likely include administration fees.