Omani authorities announced on Monday, May 18, that all Eid gatherings and celebrations, including Eid prayers, will be banned nationwide during the upcoming Eid Al Fitr holiday, due to commence on Saturday, May 23, in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. The Royal Omani Police (ROP) will be monitoring individuals and public and private institutions to ensure measures are adhered to throughout the festivities. Police will fine and imprison individuals found to be breaching restrictions.
Authorities also announced the renewing of some commercial and industrial activities, stating that preventative measures will be imposed to allow this. Individuals will be required to wear face masks in public, on public transport, and in all commercial and industrial workplaces in the public and private sectors. Social distancing measures should also be maintained throughout. A full list of the activities to reopen can be found here.
On Tuesday, May 5, Omani authorities announced that the lockdown of Muscat province will be extended until 22:00 (local time) on Friday, May 29. Per the directive, all movement into and out of the province is prohibited. The measure will also apply to Muttrah district and the town of Jalan Bani Buali (Al-Sharqiyah South province). Omani authorities closed the Wadi Kabir Industrial Estate in Muscat on Monday, May 4. The decision followed health and safety precaution instructions from the Supreme Committee.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) announced on Wednesday, April 29, that checkpoints will be lifted across Oman as some COVID-19 restrictions begin to ease. Additionally, as of Tuesday, April 28, some shops and businesses resumed their operations, including electronic shops, auto repair workshops, rental car offices, and foreign exchange firms.
A previously announced ban on mass gatherings remains in place; individuals are advised to avoid all gatherings and mosques remain closed for the duration of Ramadan.
As of Tuesday, March 24, all international and domestic flight operations remain suspended. Border crossing points via land, sea, and air remain closed to all individuals except citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. All individuals entering Oman will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. Cargo flights are exempt, as are flights to Musandam province. Authorities have also banned public gatherings, closed parks, and suspended Friday prayers and weddings.
As of Tuesday, May 19, there have been 5671 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 26 associated deaths in Oman. Further international spread of the virus is expected in the near term.
The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic.
Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.
Measures adopted by local authorities evolve quickly and are usually effective immediately. Depending on the evolution of the outbreak in other countries, authorities are likely to modify, at very short notice, the list of countries whose travelers are subject to border control measures or entry restrictions upon their arrival to the territory in question. It is advised to postpone nonessential travel due to the risk that travelers may be refused entry or be subject to quarantine upon their arrival or during their stay.
To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:
- Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
- When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
- If experiencing a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, seek medical care urgently and share your previous travel history with your health care provider.
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