A recent uptick in coronavirus infection rates in Oman is due to mass gatherings, a senior health official has said.
Oman so far has reported a total of 69,887 infections and 337 related deaths.
“The big leap in figures happened during and after the holy Eid Al Fitr due to an increase in mixing before and during the Eid holiday,” Undersecretary of Health Ministry for Health Affairs Dr Mohammed Bin Said Al Hosni said.
“Everyone should avoid gatherings during the holiday of Eid Al-Adha,” he told Shabiba Radio, referring to next week’s Muslim feast. “We can simply be patient a little,” the official added.
“Gatherings are unacceptable. There are customs that must be avoided such as wedding ceremonies and gatherings of families,” Dr Al Hosni said.
“According to the epidemiological survey, these were among the most common reasons for the virus spread,” he added.
In recent weeks, Oman has experienced a spike in the virus infections, prompting authorities to tighten preventive measures.
On Tuesday, a state committee in charge of tackling COVID-19 announced a total lockdown in Oman for two weeks from July 25 until August 8 due to an increase in virus infections and to support the country’s health sector
During that period, movement of people will be prohibited as well as all public places and shops will be closed from 7pm to 6am daily. Likewise, all forms of gatherings, including the Eid prayers, greetings and traditional markets, will be banned as part of the latest precautions.
Earlier this week, Omani authorities announced hiking up a fine for failing to wear protective face masks in public from RO20 to RO100 in a bid to curb the spread of COVID-19.