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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Oman will impose a countrywide lockdown from Saturday in an effort to stem the rapid spread of coronavirus.
The country's committee responsible for handling the Covid-19 pandemic said the new lockdown will begin July 25 and last for two weeks, lasting over the Eid Al Adha holiday.
"In view of the increase in the number of people infected with Covid-19 and to limit its spread, the Supreme Committee on Covid-19 has decided to close all governorates between July 25 and August 8," the committee said in a statement on Tuesday.
Omanis will not be able to leave their homes for 11 hours a day, and streets will be patrolled by law enforcement.
"It has also been decided to prevent all types of movements and close public places and shops during this period between 7pm and 6am, with intensified patrols and points of control in the daytime," the committee said.
Both Omanis and residents will be banned from socialising or visiting each other during Eid Al Adha, which will begin on July 31 and last until August 3. The ban also prevents people from travelling from one region to another.
On Tuesday, the Ministry of Health reported 1,437 new cases of the virus and 11 deaths. Tuesday’s new death toll is the highest daily recorded since the virus arrived on its shores.
Oman has 69,887 cases and 337 deaths in total.
Oman is also testing widely, conducting 4,701 tests on Tuesday, bringing the total to 279, 446.
Medical experts said that the new lockdown decision would not help much to stop the virus spread.
"We can have as many lockdowns as we wish but that would not stop the spread of the virus,” said Dr Fatma Al Ajmi, a retired virologist and a medical practitioner, said.
“What we need is ordinary people to be responsible and stop gathering. There are not enough police officers in the country to patrol the streets to stop people visiting each other in their homes."
Updated: July 21, 2020 03:41 PM
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