COVID-19 Live: 61,000 people tested, sponsors must bear the cost of treatment for expats

14 May 2020
POSTED BY Ashlee Starratt

Oman’s Supreme Committee for COVID-19 held its seventh press conference today [Thursday, May 14] to discuss the latest developments in the country amid the pandemic.

Speaking at the press conference, His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmed Al Saeedi confirmed that 61,000 COVID-19 tests have been carried out in the Sultanate and that, currently, there are 96 patients requiring treatment in hospitals, 31 of whom are in the Intensive Care Unit.

His Excellency the Minister of Health also stated that, for expat residents, their sponsors are responsible to pay for the cost of treatment for those who contract the coronavirus. For expats who do not have a sponsor, the cost of COVID-19 treatment will be borne by the government.

In reference to the adherence of Supreme Committee regulations to limit the further spread of COVID-19, Al Saeedi revealed that it was discovered that 150 people attended a wedding in Oman last week, in spite of social distancing rules.

He elaborated that authorities were not aware that a wedding function had taken place until an investigation was carried out after a girl became infected with the coronavirus.

His Excellency the Minister of Health also revealed an instance of an individual who had symptoms of COVID-19, yet continued to carry on his normal activities without adhering to isolation procedures. The individual in question transmitted the virus to 17 people within his extended family, including his mother who is in her 60s, an infant in the family, and to his sister, which caused her to go into renal failure.

In light of these infractions, Al Saeedi stated that it’s time to take more decisive measures against violators who flout precautionary rules.

Also speaking at the press conference was Brigadier Said Al Asmi, Director General of Operations for the Royal Oman Police, who stated that there will be no gatherings allowed over Eid Al Fitr while the pandemic is at its peak.

His Excellency the Minister of Health said, however, that a decision will be taken on Monday, May 18 on whether or not to allow people to exit from Muscat Governorate for the Eid Al Fitr holiday.

Al Saeedi also confirmed that the COVID-19 relief fund set up under the auspices of the Ministry of Health has received OMR 26.5 million in donations, with more than OMR 18 million spent thus far on efforts to combat the pandemic in Oman.

(Also read: Coronavirus Oman: Heart-wrenching stories from Al Amerat Graveyard.)

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