Izah Azahari & James Kon
The Sultanate reported 2,914 new COVID-19 cases yesterday, marking the first time since February 21, 2022 that figures had dropped below the 3,000 mark. This brings the accumulative number of confirmed cases to 106,936. Of the new cases, 2,535 were reported through antigen rapid test (ART) results uploaded onto the BruHealth app, while 379 were from the 3,502 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) laboratory tests performed over the past 24 hours.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar said this during the press conference yesterday, adding that the highest number of reported cases in the third wave of COVID-19 peaked on March 4.
He also said the effective reproduction number (Rt) has dropped to 0.95, with an Rt level below 1 suggesting that the outbreak is on the decline.
“This decline does not mean the public should start leisurely heading out again, as standard operating procedures (SOP) remain in place and must continue to be practised. What is crucial is that the public exercises wisdom and cooperation in ensuring the SOPs laid out by the government are still carried out and for the vaccinated to get their booster shot,” the minister said.
Meanwhile, three COVID-19 deaths were recorded, two of which were categorised as being COVID-19-related (one was partially vaccinated, the other was fully vaccinated), while the third death was categorised as not being COVID-19-related.
Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham extended his deepest condolences to the families, adding “May their souls receive blessings and be placed among the pious.”
Fifteen cases are in Category 4 receiving assistance and under close monitoring, while nine are in Category 5, requiring artificial ventilation assistance at the intensive care unit.
The total number of cases in Categories 4 and 5 stands at 9.2 per cent of the treatment capacity at the National Isolation Centre (NIC).
Some 4,683 cases recovered yesterday, bringing the total number to 68,764. A total of 38,014 active cases remain.
The bed occupancy rate at isolation centres nationwide is 8.6 per cent. A total of 272 active cases are being treated at isolation centres, while 37,742 cases are undergoing home self-isolation.
The minister said, “As of March 10, the National Vaccination Programme had recorded 57.9 per cent of the populace as having received the booster, while 94 per cent of the populace had received the first and second doses.
Meanwhile, no violations were detected during the movement restrictions measure from midnight to 4am yesterday.
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health Haji Maswadi bin Haji Mohsin also attended.