Oman’s Ministry of Health (MoH) said health officials in the sultanate identified 193 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday, taking the country’s total number of active cases to 3,858. With cases still high, the country’s Supreme Committee for Dealing with COVID-19 decided to ban all Eid el-Fitr gatherings to prevent coronavirus spreading during the religious holiday.
The ministry also said Oman’s novel coronavirus death toll had risen to 25 after two residents, aged 54 and 67, died from the disease today.
— وزارة الصحة – عُمان (@OmaniMOH) May 18, 2020
A breakdown of new cases, published on the MoH’s twitter account revealed the majority of new infections were in non-Omanis (121 new cases). While new case numbers are still relatively high, Oman’s novel coronavirus mortality rate has remained low and the number of recoveries grew to 1,496 in total as of May 18.
Oman’s authorities once again used their daily coronavirus update to remind residents to “adhere to the isolation procedures,” and keep up other anti-COVID-19 measures such as good hand hygiene and wearing a face mask.
The Supreme Committee for Dealing with #Covid-19 confirms the banning of gatherings related to Eid and issues a number of decisions.
— Oman VS Covid19 – عمان تواجه كورونا (@OmanVSCovid19) May 18, 2020
On Monday afternoon the sultanate’s Supreme Committee for Dealing with COVID-19 announced four new decisions on how to manage the country’s virus outbreak.
The committee followed many other MENA region governments, such as those of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, in banning all Eid el-Fitr gatherings and celebrations. It also extended its best wishes for Eid, wishing the “Omani people further progress and prosperity and the Arab and Islamic nations plentiful bounties, security and stability,” state news outlet Oman News Agency (ONA) reported.
The meeting, chaired by Interior Minister Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al Busaidi, made it mandatory for Omanis to wear a face mask in public and authorized the Royal Oman Police to “monitor the compliance of individuals and public and private institutions” and issue fines or arrest violators of anti-coronavirus directives.
In a positive development for the country’s economy and business sector, the coronavirus committee gave a new group of commercial and industrial activities permission to recommence, but has not yet specified which ones.