Izah Azahari & James Kon
Individuals who are still experiencing shortness of breath or chest pain 10 days after recovery from COVID-19 are advised to seek medical attention.
This was said by Deputy Permanent Secretary (Professional) at the Ministry of Health (MoH) Dr Ang Swee Hui during a press conference yesterday.
Dr Ang Swee Hui added that in steps with MoH’s standard operating procedures (SOPs), individuals no longer need to carry out antigen rapid testing after the 10th day as they will no longer be deemed infectious.
With regards to cases being re-infected one or two weeks after recovery, the deputy permanent secretary said it is quite a rare occurrence, adding that residual virus or long COVID is also possible.
“According to our study, most of the cases infected at the moment are new cases. If they are still experiencing symptoms a week after recovery, it is advisable for them to see a doctor to find out whether it is long COVID, a new infection or other diseases,” he said.
Dr Ang noted that if it is a new infection, a RT-PCR swab test can be done by the ministry to analyse whether there is a new variant present.
To shed light on the emergence of sub-variant BA.2.75 in a number of countries, Dr Ang explained that it is rooted in Omicron variant.
“We know that Omicron sub-variants like BA.2, BA.4 and BA.5 are infectious but not severe.
It is hoped that this new sub-variant is also mild, though we are keeping a close watch at this time,” said Dr Ang.
He added that the World Health Organization (WHO) currently categorised the new sub-variant as a ‘variant of interest’ and not a ‘variant of concern’.
Meanwhile, the Sultanate’s new COVID-19 cases in the past week averaged at 1730 cases per day, with a total of 68,893 ART results uploaded onto the BruHealth app, of which 17.5 per cent were positive results.
This was shared by Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Pehin Datu Lailaraja Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Awang Halbi bin Haji Mohd Yussof.
He also highlighted that a 1,772 new cases were reported, of which 1,762 were from ART results and 10 from 334 RT-PCR laboratory tests performed in the past 24 hours.
There is one case in Category 5 requiring treatment at the intensive care unit and 15 cases in Category 4 requiring respiratory assistance and are under close monitoring.
Over 99 per cent of the cases detected in the past week have been Category 1 or 2 and do not require hospital treatment.
As of July 17, the minister said, “the COVID-19 vaccination coverage in the Sultanate continued to see an increase with 74 per cent of citizens and residents having received the third dose, while five per cent being administered the fourth shot of the vaccine.
“Meanwhile, 78 per cent of second dose vaccinations had been administered to children aged five to 11 and 51.8 per cent of adolescents aged 12 to 17 have received the third dose”.