Indian medics return to Oman as coronavirus cases surge

On Monday, Oman registered its highest daily cases since the virus reached its shores

A Boeing Co. 737-800 aircraft, operated by Oman Air, stands beside the passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport in Muscat, Oman, on Monday, May 7, 2018. Being the Switzerland of the Gulf served the country well over the decades, helping the sultanate survive, thrive and make it a key conduit for trade and diplomacy in the turbulent Middle East.��Photographer: Christopher Pike/Bloomberg
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Oman has flown medical workers back to Muscat from India as daily coronavirus case numbers in the sultanate reached a peak on Monday.

The 73 Indian doctors and nurses were flown back into the country early on Monday on a special chartered flight arranged by the Omani Ministry of Health.

The group was on annual leave in their home country when stay-home measures began, closing airports and preventing them from returning to Oman.

“It is good to be back in Oman and start working on this terrible pandemic," Sushistra Gupta, 28, an Indian nurse who returned to work in a government hospital in Muscat, said.

"I was supposed to be back from India in April but there were no flights then. We are all together in this ordeal and hopefully together we can save many lives.”

Oman recorded 1,605 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, the largest daily total since the pandemic started, taking the total number of infected people to 31,076.

Six new deaths were reported on Monday, taking the toll to 137, according to the Ministry of Health.

The ministry also said that 856 patients recovered from the virus in the last 24 hours, taking the total recoveries from the disease to 16,408. More than 400 people are currently in hospital with the disease, including 100 in intensive care units.

The health ministry blamed the rise in infections on construction labour camps for breaking social-distancing rules and safety procedures.

“Construction camps need to follow the pandemic rules. There are reports workers do not respect the safety procedures since the reopening of this sector,” the Ministry of Health said.

Last week, Oman allowed most shops in the high streets to reopen but ordered malls and education institutions to stay closed.

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