Omanis urged to celebrate Eid online to curb spread of Covid-19

Country’s hospitals are under pressure from severe wave of infections

Omani Muslims perform afternoon prayers on the third day of Ramadan at the Abu Bakr Al Siddiq Mosque in Muscat. AFP
Omani Muslims perform afternoon prayers on the third day of Ramadan at the Abu Bakr Al Siddiq Mosque in Muscat. AFP

Oman's Assistant Grand Mufti urged Omanis and Muslim residents in the country to celebrate Eid online to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Sheikh Dr Kahtan Al Kharusi, Oman’s second-highest ranking cleric, said Omanis should avoid large traditional Eid gatherings and celebrate at home instead.

“Families must stay home this Eid,” he told Oman Radio. “They can use online links to celebrate with extended families and friends. By doing so, they can help the health ministry’s efforts to control the spread of the coronavirus.

“Online meetings and celebrations are common these days and we can all easily adapt to this new normal for the sake of our health and safety,” he said.

The government has already announced Eid holidays from May 12 to May 16.

Depending on the sighting of the moon, Eid Al Fitr will fall either on May 13 or May 14.

A moon-sighting committee from the ministry of Endowment and Religious Affairs will begin gathering on May 11.

Oman is experiencing a severe wave of infections, putting pressure on the country’s healthcare system.

The number of people admitted to Omani hospitals with Covid-19 increased by almost 60 per cent in April, the Ministry of Health said – with 821 new patients treated, compared with 515 in March.

The total number of deaths also increased, from 108 in March to 343 in April.

Oman on Wednesday reported 770 new infections and 9 deaths.

The total number of cases has now reached 198,572. There have been 2,071 deaths from coronavirus since the outbreak began.

In a bid to lower infection rates, Oman is introducing a longer curfew.

Movement restrictions will be in place between 7pm and 4am from May 8 to 15, replacing the current restrictions which run between 9pm and 4am.

Updated: May 5, 2021 10:48 PM

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