Oman has ordered that commercial activities across the country be suspended between 8pm-5am from Thursday, March 4 until Saturday, March 20, 2021, as it seeks to contain the Covid-19 virus.
Oman’s Supreme Committee which is tasked with dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic said on Monday that the closure covers restaurants, cafés and cafeterias as well as home-delivery services. The ban exempts petrol stations, health facilities and private pharmacies.
The committee added that online learning will continue in public schools from March 7-March 11, after which the decision will be reviewed.
It added that there has been “a steep surge in number of infection and deaths due to the prevalence of new, mutated variants of the virus,” reported state channel Oman News Agency. On a domestic front, it said that the “data shows a rise in number of patients admitted to hospital and deaths in all parts of the sultanate.”
In some of the governorates in the country, the committee said that “a surge beyond the red mark was registered, with an alarming swell linked to travel.”
The data also indicated the presence of ‘international mutated strains (among them the South Africa variant)’ in the country.
Oman already suspended entry of passengers from 10 countries starting from February 25 for a period of 15 days. The 10 countries are: Lebanon, South Africa, Brazil, Sudan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ethiopia.
Read: Oman to suspend arrivals from 10 countries starting February 25
From February 15, Oman introduced mandatory institutional quarantine for all arrivals into the country via its land, air and sea borders, the cost of which is borne by the passengers.
It has also sealed its international land borders until further notice, with the exception of trucks which will be allowed to cross the borders.
Read: Oman: Mandatory institutional self-paid quarantine for all arrivals, new Covid-19 restrictions announced
On March 1, Oman reported 312 new Covid-19 infections, taking the total count up to 141,808. Of these, 1,577 individuals have died and 132,685 have recovered from the virus.