State media reported on Tuesday, July 21, that Oman will implement a night curfew and ban travel between all provinces from Saturday, July 25 to August 2, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The curfew will be in place from 19:00 to 06:00 (local time). Shops and public spaces will be closed during the curfew hours.
Omani authorities announced on July 14 that they will allow international travel to resume. Citizens who wish to travel abroad will have to apply for permission with authorities and will be required to quarantine for 14 days when they return to the country. Commercial international flights into and out of the country remain suspended until at least July 30. Separately, authorities announced on July 14 that the ongoing lockdown in the regions of Masirah and Dhofar would remain in place until further notice.
As of Tuesday, July 21, there have been 69,887 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the country, and 337 associated fatalities. 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). Since then, human-to-human transmission of the virus has been confirmed.
Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough, and tiredness. Some patients may experience other symptoms such as body pains, nasal congestion, headache, conjunctivitis, sore throat, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell or a rash on skin or discoloration of fingers or toes. These symptoms (in most cases mild) appear gradually. Generally, most patients (around 80 percent) recover from the disease without being hospitalized.
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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