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Our Correspondent

The Sultanate of Oman registered three cases of the life-threatening ‘Black Fungus’ disease among people infected with COVID-19 virus, the first such cases in the Arabian Peninsula. It was earlier reported in the Arab countries of Egypt, Iraq and Syria.

The Sultanate’s Ministry of Health announced on Twitter that “the three cases are currently under treatment.” The three patients were reported to be diabetic.

Black fungus is a fungal infection of the sinuses, brain or lungs that occurs in some people with weakened immune systems, according to the US National Library of Medicine. If not detected early enough, the disease that can spread to the nose, eyes, jaw bone and even brain and require amputation of the affected body parts.

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In an interview with Oman TV, Dr Amal Bint Saif Al Maani, a consultant in infectious diseases and infection control at the Ministry of Health, said that black fungus, or mucormycosis, was seen in people with immunodeficiency, either congenital or due to chronic diseases or on account of taking immunosuppresants to treat other diseases.

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COVID-19 vaccination in full swing

As many as 535,578 people have been vaccinated against Covid-19, since the start of the National Immunization Plan in December 2020. The number constitutes 15% of the target segments.

The total number of administered vaccine doses is 720,199. While 66% or 350,957 people took the first dose, 34% or 184,621 people took both doses.

Vaccination centres in all governorates of the Sultanate is seeing a large turnout of people wishing to be vaccinated. Those who wish to get vaccinated at private hospitals will need to pay a fee, which depends on the type of vaccine they choose to take. Oxford-AstraZeneca and Pfizer BioNTech vaccines are available.

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The Ministry of Health plans to cover all target segments aged 12 and above, which is 70% of the population. On June 14, Oman reported 1,806 COVID-19 cases, 542 recoveries and 19 new deaths.