Oman brings in two-week coronavirus curfew as case numbers rise

The sultanate registered 312 new cases on Monday bringing the total tally to 141,808 infections

Locals stand outside a boutique hotel in the village of Misfat al-Abriyeen which opened its narrow streets six years ago to foreigners and locals seeking adventure in the deserts and green corners of the Gulf sultanate of Oman, on February 8, 2021. Perched on an Oman mountain top, the village of Misfat al-Abriyeen has changed its fortunes by transforming mud-brick homes into boutique hotels, drawing tourists to a region famed for hiking trails and tales of genies. / AFP / MOHAMMED MAHJOUB
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Oman's committee leading the fight against the coronavirus ordered nightly movement restrictions for the next two weeks as the number of infections continues to increase.

"To control the spread of the Covid-19 virus, it has been decided to impose a curfew from March 4 to March 20. All the shops, coffee shops, restaurants and other trading outlets will close from 8pm to 5am," the committee said in a statement carried by Oman News Agency.

The Health Ministry reported 312 new cases of the coronavirus on Monday, taking the total number registered in the sultanate to 141,808.

Seven people also died of coronavirus, taking the toll to 1,577.

Total recoveries reached 132,685, which is 94 per cent of the total number of cases.

Thirty-one patients were sent to hospital for treatment in the past 24 hours, taking the total number of inpatients to 198, including 66 in intensive care.

The health minister urged people to take the vaccines as the number of infections rise.

“We need more people to go to the clinics and vaccinate themselves. Vaccination is quite safe and please come forward and do it,” Dr Ahmed Al Saeedi said.

"We want to control the infections, and vaccinating as many people as possible will reduce the number of infections."

Oman tourism amid the pandemic - in pictures 

Oman has already imposed an indefinite land border closure since December as a response to variants found overseas making their way to the sultanate.

It has also closed the eastern Sharqiyah Region for an indefinite period because the number of infections there was increasing.

Oman last week ordered 200,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine from Johnson & Johnson.

This will be offered to people below the age of 66 and schoolteachers, according to the Health Ministry. This vaccine, unlike others, requires one dose.

The first and second consignments of vaccines received by Oman in recent weeks were only available to the over-65s, people with underlying medical issues and medical staff.

The sultanate began its inoculation campaign with Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines on December 7 and reached 30,000 people.

The second phase of vaccinations kicked off this month with 100,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, made under licence by the Serum Institute of India.

Oman introduced a seven-day mandatory hotel quarantine for all arrivals on February 15.