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COVID numbers expected to climb

Izah Azahari

With the presence of the locally-transmitted Omicron variant, the number of cases is expected to increase in the Sultanate.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said this at a press conference yesterday, adding that “no super spreaders have been discovered through detected clusters”.

The Omicron variant is spreading faster than the previous Delta variant, he said, adding that the figure is most likely to increase.

“As previously advised, the public is encouraged to get their COVID-19 booster shot and to adhere to the standard operating procedures (SOP) in place,” the minister said.

Although Omicron is known to bring mild symptoms, this is only the case for those who have been vaccinated, he said, before advising individuals who have yet to get vaccinated “to get it as soon as possible”.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar speaks at the press conference. PHOTO: JAMES KON

Figures obtained from other countries showed that it typically takes between two and three weeks before the Omicron infection peaks. The Sultanate has recorded a consistent figure of roughly 370 cases over the past few days, but this will be looked at again in the next few days, the minister said.

A previous MoH statement announced that the government will not set any restrictions (as were enforced previously), and that despite the increase in the number of cases, the focus must remain on the number of Categories 4 and 5 cases.

“Should the number of Categories 4 and 5 cases rise and subsequently impacts the healthcare system, we will have to rethink how to control the spread.

“However, for now, there are no plans to do so,” Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham said.

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