Omanis relieved as night lockdowns to end on Saturday

Retailers cheered the end of the lockdown, saying now they have a chance to trade longer and make more money

Omanis, wearing protective face masks, sit on the corniche in the capital Muscat on October 12, 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic.  / AFP / MOHAMMED MAHJOUB
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Oman night lockdown will end at 5 am on Saturday morning, the country’s committee responsible for Covid-19 said on Wednesday.

The 8pm to 5am lockdown started on October 11 to control rise in infections, a spike that began in the beginning of October and was slated to last two weeks.

Retailers cheered the end of the lockdown, saying now they have a chance to trade longer and make more money.

“It is a great relief knowing the lockdown ends in two days. Our business suffered significantly because we lost three hours of trading every day," Mohammed Shafeeq, 33, a restaurant owner in Muscat, said. "We make more money between 8 pm to 11 pm than any other time because that is the peak business time for us."

Ordinary people also voiced their relief.

“We leave the office at 6 in the evening and we have only one hour to chill out in coffee shops because everything shuts one hour before the curfew time," said Qassim al Atas, 26, an IT network engineer. "I really hope the authorities will not announce another curfew. It really puts me into depression to think about it."

The supreme committee for Covid-19 has also announced on Wednesday that schools will be opened for blended learning on November 1.

Oman reported 451 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, taking the total number of infections to 111,484. Oman also reported 15 deaths on Wednesday taking the total death toll to 1,137.

A total of 97,367 people have so far recovered from the deadly infection.