Oman reports record daily Covid-19 deaths
'Number of cases will increase because of people who do not take the virus seriously,' says social worker
Oman reported its highest number of daily deaths from coronavirus on Sunday, with 29 more people dying of Covid-19 days before the start of a new lockdown.
The country also recorded a record 3,544 new Covid-19 infections, said the Ministry of Health.
The total number of deaths since the start of the pandemic has reached 1,776, with 171,549 infections.
In the past 24 hours, 105 people with coronavirus have been admitted to hospital, bringing the total number of patients to 733, including 229 in intensive care.
Oman will start another night-time lockdown on the first day of Ramadan, from 9pm to 4am, and last for the month.
Depending on the sighting of the new Moon, Ramadan is expected to start on Tuesday or Wednesday.
Omanis are concerned that illegal iftar gatherings might cause the virus to spread and push the number of infections and deaths even higher.
“The new lockdown in Ramadan will not work," said Rashid Al Sumri, 48, a farmer in the north-eastern Sharqiya region.
“People will gather illegally for iftar in their homes and farms, especially in towns outside the capital.
“This, I’m afraid, will increase the number of infections and result in more deaths."
Other Omanis said they believed the failure to follow social-distancing guidelines was the main cause of rising infections.
“Ramadan or not, the number of cases will increase because of people who do not take the virus seriously,” said Saif Al Wardi, 36, a social worker at the Ministry of Health.
Mr Al Wardi said this was evident in the large gatherings being held and the reluctance of some Omanis to be vaccinated.
“They think social distancing spoils their fun and the trip to the health centre to take their vaccinations is a waste of time,” he said.
Oman’s Ministry of Health has urged people to be vaccinated, but only 150,000 have done so.
The country has set a target of three million vaccinations by the end of August, the ministry said on Sunday.
Mr Al Wardi said that the target was “easier said than done” and, with the continued flouting of social-distancing measures, the country was unlikely to meet it.
Updated: April 12, 2021 11:45 AM