A man arrives to get vaccinated at the Oman Convention & Exhibition Centre in the capital Muscat in a file photo. Image Credit: AFP

Muscat: Oman will receive 3 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the next two months, Oman’s Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Al Saidi said yesterday. The number of inpatients at ICUs across government and private hospitals as of July 27 decreased by 75 per cent, he said in an interview yesterday with Oman TV.

“We are coordinating with the Ministry of Education to vaccinate those in the age group 12-18 years with the first dose before the end of next week. Around 320,000 students. We hope, before the start of the school term in September, that all students from this category have been vaccinated with the second dose so that they can return to school normally.”

“Deaths in Oman are mostly of those over the age of 60, who refused to get vaccinated. We noticed an increase in the demand for vaccination post the Eid Al Adha holidays.”

He said the much-awaited further steps including the decision on the new lockdown timings, if any, as well as other announcements will be made tomorrow, July 29, the minister said.

He indicated that the effect of total lockdown on bringing the numbers down will be available within 10 to 14 days. He said that the Supreme Committee didn’t have any other choice than bring in a total lockdown to bring the numbers down.

“We came close to health systems collapse when the total number of patients in ICUs crossed 500. The Supreme Committee had no choice but to opt for measures like complete closure when case numbers exceeded by several times the capacity of the health sector. In the past few days, the number of patients being admitted directly to intensive care, from their homes, is very high. Most cases in Oman today are of the fast-spreading Delta variant and this strain affects people of all ages. It is also more severe than previous strains.