Oman to impose partial commercial shutdown for over 2 weeks to curb spread of coronavirus

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report

MUSCAT — Oman has decided to close all commercial activities in the country for more than two weeks from 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. as part of efforts to prevent the spread of coronavirus, according to Oman News Agency (ONA) reported on Monday.

The move, which will come into effect on Feb. 4 (Thursday) and will continue until March 20 (Saturday), covers all restaurants, cafes, and cafeterias inside tourism installations, in addition to home delivery services. The ban exempts fuel filling stations, health establishments, and private pharmacies.

Authorities in the Sultanate also decided to extend distance learning for public schools from March 7 through March 11, during which conditions will be evaluated, according to the ONA.

The new measures were taken by the country’s top committee to deal with coronavirus during a meeting on Monday presided over by Interior Minister Sayyid Hamoud Faisal Al-Busaidi.

According to the ONA report, the committee reviewed the international COVID-19 epidemiological scenario marked by a steep surge in the number of infection and death cases due to the prevalence of new, mutated variants of the virus. In the domestic front, data analysis shows a rise in the number of patients admitted to hospital and death cases in all parts of the Sultanate.

In some of the Sultanate’s governorates, a surge beyond the red mark was registered, with an alarming swell linked to travel cases amid the global propagation of the disease and the lack of information about the situation in departure countries.

Data also indicates lab-confirmed infection cases linked to international mutated strains (among them the South Africa variant) that caused a local spillover and the emergence of hotbeds in the Sultanate’s governorates.

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