Friday, May 24, 2024
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COVID loosening grip on Sultanate

James Kon & Rokiah Mahmud

The number of new COVID-19 cases continued on a downward trajectory in the Sultanate, averaging 283 cases per day, compared to 420 per day last week.

A total of 59,328 ART results were uploaded to the BruHealth app within a week, 3.3 per cent of which were positive. This means that the average daily cases has decreased by 83.6 per cent since the peak of the fourth wave last July.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar announced this at the weekly press conference yesterday, where he was accompanied by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health Dr Ang Swee Hui.

Meanwhile, 247 new COVID-19 cases were reported yesterday.

One Category 5 case is being treated at the intensive care unit, while three Category 4 cases are receiving respiratory assistance and under close observation.

As of August 21, the vaccination coverage rate of the populace having been administered the third dose stood at 76.6 per cent, while nine per cent have received the fourth dose.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also discussed the factors contributing to the drop in the number of daily cases, among them being that nearly 80 per cent of the populace had received the first booster shot.

Natural immunity is another factor, he said, noting that most of the population had been infected at some point.

“The number of people taking the third dose is very encouraging. However, only nine per cent of the population have been administered the fourth dose. While the fourth dose is not mandatory, those with non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and senior citizens are encouraged to take it,” he said.

In terms of vaccine wastage, Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham described it as “minimal”, explaining that vaccines have a durability of between four and 12 months, depending on the brand.