A woman arrives to get vaccinated at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in the capital Muscat on June 23, 2021 during the second phase of the national immunisation plan against COVID-19. Image Credit: AFP

MUSCAT: Oman has approved the emergency use of Sinovac and Sputnik vaccines and is aiming to vaccinate all target groups in the sultanate with one dose of the COVID-19 shot before the end of August.

This was announced today by Oman’s Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Al Saeedi at a press conference held by the Supreme Committee of Oman.

Saif Salim Al Abri, Director-General of Disease Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health, said apart from the two — Pfizer-Biontech and Oxford/AstraZeneca — Sinovac and Sputnik will be offered in the country.

Dr Abri said that there are worrisome mutations of the virus, including the Beta, Gamma, Alpha and Delta variants, which have been detected in Oman. “The Delta variant is the most dangerous because of its rapid spread,” Dr. Al Abri said. Family gatherings, non-compliance with preventive measures are the main reasons for the spread of COVID-19 in Oman, he added.

New target group

A new target group — pregnant women — was also included in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. The Ministry of Health called on pregnant women, who are in the fourth month of pregnancy and over, to get vaccinated.

Stricter surveillance and penalty measures have also been implemented to curb the increase of infections. Brigadier General Mohammad Bin Nasser Al Kindi, Director-General of Operations at the Royal Oman Police (ROP) informed that ROP has recorded violations against commercial establishments and people for gathering in private and public places.

Oman-India flights

Meanwhile, a top official at the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology said that flights between Oman and India are limited to returning citizens, transporting health personnel, shipping goods, and facilitating the return of Indian citizens to their country.