Omani authorities announced on Wednesday, May 27, that the current coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown in Muscat province, including in the capital Muscat, will be lifted entirely on Friday, May 29, as the government begins easing containment measures in place nationwide. In efforts to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, authorities initially imposed a lockdown in Muscat, Muttrah district and the town of Jalan Bani Buali on Friday, April 10.
In addition, the government announced that at least 50 percent of public sector employees will resume working from their offices from Sunday, May 31. The Ministry of Health continues to urge individuals nationwide to adhere strictly to social and physical distancing instructions and to stay at home as much as possible, unless it is necessary.
As of May 27, there are 8373 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oman, with 39 associated fatalities. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the coming days and weeks.
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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