Oman ends school year early and extends lockdown measures

Lockdown of Muscat governorate will last until at least May 29

An Omani family stands by the waterfront in the Mutrah area of the capital Muscat on November 16, 2018. (Photo by GIUSEPPE CACACE / AFP)
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Oman will end its school year months early due to the coronavirus, the country’s Ministry of Interior has announced.

Schools have already been closed for over a month, but as cases continue to rise in the Sultanate, a decision was made to end the 2019-2020 school year on May 7.

The Ministry of Education has been authorised to find a suitable alternative for deciding which classes children enter in the new school year.

The country also extended lockdown measures in the governorate of Muscat until May 29, and shut down a third industrial area, where low-income migrant workers live and work.

Al Wadi Al Kabir industrial area in Muscat governorate will remain closed until further notice in order "to take health and safety measures", Oman Municipality said.

Movement into and out of the governorate of Muscat has been barred since April 10,  including the capital and  Muttrah town, home to one of Oman's oldest souqs.

Later that month it closed off a textile market in Southeastern governorate’s Jalan Bani Bu Ali town, which is a tourist destination and home to historic watchtowers and a fort.

Last week it allowed a limited number of commercial businesses to reopen, including money exchanges, car and fishing boat repair stores, and shops selling electronic goods.

Oman confirmed its first cases of the virus on February 24, and infections now total 2903, with 13 deaths.