Wednesday, December 6, 2023
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Do not be swayed by unverified news: minister

Azlan Othman

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar urged the public not to be easily influenced by unauthentic and unverified news on booster shots, at a press conference yesterday, in the wake of a slow uptake for booster shots in the Sultanate.

The minister said, “The situation globally is clear to see; the vaccines can reduce symptoms of COVID-19, especially we are also boosted.”

To date, the rate of fully-vaccinated people receiving the booster stands at 42 per cent, far from the Ministry of Health’s (MoH) aspiration of 70 per cent by mid-February, said Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham.

“If around 3,000 and 4,000 individuals showed up daily for their booster shots, we would be able to achieve the target,” he said, adding that at present, “we are far from reaching our target”.

Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham also called on those with “concerns” to “refer to authentic sources, such as the MoH and the World Health Organization (WHO)”.

On public concerns that screening for COVID-19 using the antigen rapid test (ART) kit can give a false negative, the minister said over 90 per cent of the test kits in the Sultanate can detect the Omicron variant. Hence, the public should not be alarmed, he said.

The minister also said those infected with COVID-19 are required to undergo ART screening on the first and fifth day.


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