Coronavirus: one-year-old baby tests positive in Oman

The sultanate’s health minister says the infant has mild symptoms but is 'doing well'

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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A year-old baby tested positive for coronavirus in Oman, becoming the youngest Covid-19 patient in the country, the Omani Minister of Health said on Tuesday.

Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Mohammed Al Saidi said in a radio interview broadcast by the local newspaper Al Shabibam that the infant has mild symptoms but was "doing well".

He also said 13 new cases had been reported in the country since the weekend to bring the total number of infected people in Oman to 192, while 34 people have already recovered.


He also said that he expected the virus to peak by mid-April, but that there would be a surge in the next 2 weeks because of the arrival of Omani students from abroad.

The last of the 540 Omani students studying abroad returned home on March 29. But he cautioned people must continue to stay home to control the epidemic in the country.

The students who returned from abroad have been quarantined for two weeks in different hotels in Muscat, as part of the crackdown to control the virus spread.

On March 14, Oman ordered schools and universities to close. The government earlier this month established the Supreme Committee for Covid-19 as the authority to oversee the country's response to the outbreak.

The Supreme Committee for Covid-19 on Tuesday put the country in a police-controlled lockdown to make sure people stay at home and do not go out unnecessarily.

"In the context of the efforts made to reduce the movement of citizens and residents to limit the spread of the disease, the military and security agencies will take the necessary measures to achieve this, and the Committee requests everyone to respond to these measures and co-operate with these agencies in implementing them," the committee said.

It also urged all employers to ask their workers to work from home, except for the emergency services and supermarkets. It also closed down all parks, cinemas and places of worship.

Oman has already closed all of its airports and grounded all aircraft from March 29, except for cargo flights that deliver food and medical supplies.