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Oman to start COVID-19 vaccination drive Sunday

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The Sultanate of Oman will start vaccinating against the coronavirus on Sunday, Dec. 27, state news agency ONA reported.

Health Minister Ahmed Al-Saidi said the country will receive 15,600 Pfizer vaccines on Thursday, and will receive 28,000 vaccines by June.

Individuals with chronic illnesses and medical workers will be the first to be vaccinated, he added.

Despite renewing the travel ban into and from Oman for a week, there are no plans to reintroduce internal lockdowns, Al-Saidi said.

“There are no indications or a need to close any part of the Sultanate, and that epidemiological surveillance is in place, and if the Supreme Committee decides that there will be a future closure in the Sultanate, it will be in limited places,” daily Times of Oman quoted the minister.

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Oman closed its borders at 1:00 a.m. on Tuesday for a week to prevent the new strain of coronavirus from entering the country.

The new strain causes the same medical conditions as the original but is 70 percent more infectious. It has been identified in the UK, several other European countries, Australia and South Africa, and the British health minister said on Sunday that it was “out of control.”

Oman’s coronavirus committee said cargo via airplanes, ships and trucks will be excluded from the border lockdown. The committee will also continue to monitor the epidemiological situation of the new strain and take “appropriate decisions accordingly.”

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