On Sunday, May 24, Omani health authorities reported 513 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases in the country, marking the highest daily increase in COVID-19 cases recorded in the country to date. The increase brings the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Oman to 7770.
Omani authorities announced on Monday, May 18, that all Eid gatherings and celebrations, including Eid prayers, would be banned nationwide during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, due to commence on Saturday, May 23, in efforts to curb the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. The Royal Omani Police (ROP) is monitoring individuals and public and private institutions to ensure measures are followed throughout the festivities. Police will reportedly fine and imprison individuals found to be breaching restrictions.
Additionally, places of worship, souqs, and other traditional markets, restaurants, cafés, gyms, hairdressers, tourist sites, and all shops (excluding supermarkets, clinics, and pharmacies) remain closed. Public gatherings are also prohibited.
As of May 24, health authorities have confirmed 927 COVID-19 cases and 17 associated deaths in the country. Further 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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