COVID-19 Coronavirus update: First death recorded in Oman.

Merge 104.8  |  01 April 2020


COVID-19 Coronavirus update:

Oman has registered the death of a patient infected with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) today [March 31].

The patient was a 72-year-old Omani citizen.

This is the first fatality registered of a patient who was suffering from the disease in the country.

The Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF) and the Royal Oman Police (ROP) have activated procedures for the control of entry and exit in all governorates for citizens and residents.

In an announcement issued today [Tuesday, March 31], the SAF and the ROP will activate control measures and check-points for movement between governorates starting tomorrow [Wednesday, April 1, 2020] in an effort to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Oman.

The control procedures on movement between governorates will be applicable to all, except for the following:

1. A minimum number of employees in the private sector whose job detail requires them to travel between governorates, and whose work can be carried out from offices within those governorates.

2. Emergency vehicles such as fire trucks or ambulances which are considered exempt.

3. Security service and military service vehicles.

4. Any cargo vehicles that transport food or consumer-related commodities.

5. Fuel trucks, vehicles carrying construction equipment, and other essential service commercial vehicles.

In the statement, the SAF and the ROP are advising citizens and residents to ensure that they keep their civil IDs or job-related IDs on-hand at all times during travel in order to assist authorities in facilitating measures.

(Also read: Coronavirus: Sultan’s Armed Forces to mobilize efforts in Oman’s fight against COVID-19.)

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced today that 13 more people have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Sultanate.  

This brings the total number of cases to 192.  The MOH also revealed that 34 people have recovered from the disease in Oman so far.

On Monday Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) announced that 12 more people have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the Sultanate.

This brings the total number of cases to 179, while 29 people have already made a recovery.

MOH also called upon people in the Sultanate to adhere to safety protocols, and to stick to healthy practices such as washing hands with water and soap, as well as avoiding touching face, nose, mouth, and eyes prior to sanitizing one’s hands.

The Royal Hospital in Oman announced the first case of complete recovery of a Coronavirus patient who was in ‘critical condition’.

The 28-year-old patient was in the intensive care unit due to complications from the virus.

Oman’s Government Communications Center reported that the patient left the hospital in a healthy condition and free from the disease.

Oman’s Public Prosecution has received four cases of violations of the Supreme Committee’s Coronavirus laws.



In a statement issued today [March 30], the Public Prosecution said that these violations included people holding funeral gatherings, group prayers and partaking in jobs that have been ordered to temporarily stop.

The government body said that it had also arrested 11 people who failed to stay under home quarantine for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The violators have been placed in institutional quarantine and others are in pre-trial detention.

An aircraft belonging to the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has landed safely back in the Sultanate after returning from Shenzhen, China to retrieve a surplus of medical equipment and supplies to boost reserves in the country in aid of Oman’s fight against the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.



A video clip shared online today [Monday, March 30] by the Ministry of Defense, shows the RAFO flight docking on the tarmac in Muscat. The RAFO has confirmed that its flight crew members took all necessary precautions during the journey to protect against the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Also read: Government debunks rumours of Oman buying faulty testing kits from China.

The Oman Government announced today that it would begin its nationwide spraying and disinfection campaign to fight the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) tonight.

The campaign will begin at 7pm and continue until 7am every day, and will focus on areas where public interaction is high.


Picture courtesy: SAF/Oman TV (Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Staff, geared up with devices and equipment, were earlier seen disinfecting public areas in Muscat; though, this campaign will now be extended to other wilayats in Oman.

In  a statement issued to the public, the Government body said: “Today, a unified spraying campaign begins, as a precautionary measure to limit the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The campaign includes internal road pavements, public facilities, and parking shades, as well as taxi parkings and in front of shops and other vital sites in various wilayats.”

Source: Oman GC, Oman TV

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced the registration of 15 new cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Sultanate.

In an interview with Oman TV, His Excellency Ahmed Mohammed al Saidi, the Minister of Health, said that 23 Coronavirus patients are currently in hospitals, with three patients in Intensive Care Units (ICU).

Most of the patients in Oman are currently aged between 16 and 59.

He also stated that 29 patients have recovered in Oman and that no deaths have been reported so far, before adding how the numbers of patients are expected to increase in the coming days. Currently, 12,642 people are under domestic quarantine in Oman.

The Government’s aim is to see a ‘gradual increase in the numbers so that they can control the cases in the hospitals’, the minister added.

The minister pointed out the importance of home isolation, and how some of those who have been isolated haven’t abided by the Government’s instructions.

He then called for the elderly and chronically ill to ‘adhere strictly to home isolation because of the seriousness of how the virus can affect them’.

Assuring the people of Oman, he said: “80 per cent of the Coronavirus cases around the world are mild.”

Oman’s total number of registered cases of COVID-19 is now 167, with 23 patients having made a full recovery.

Also read: COVID-19: Flout directives on public gatherings, shop closures in Oman and face jail-term, hefty fines, says Public Prosecution.

Rumours of Oman buying faulty test kits from China are not true and are merely causing confusion among the public, Oman’s Government Communications Center has stated.

In a statement released to the public, the government body stated: “Oman is only importing Coronavirus testing kits that are certified and those that are as per the regulations set by the World Health Organisation.”

Earlier, news of faulty and sub-standard testing kits being used in Oman were shared online by unverified sources.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed today 21 new cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus  in the Sultanate. 23 cases have fully recovered.

The total number of registered COVID-19 cases in Oman now stands at 152.

Oman’s Public Prosecution has announced new legal measures including steep fines and a year in jail aimed as a deterrent to those who flout the directives of the Supreme Committee.

In a statement, the Public Prosecution said that those who would impede or refuse to abide by the directives outlined by state authorities — including public gatherings and closures of commercial shops — would be subject to a fine of OMR 10,000 and face a one-year jail term.

Also read: Coronavirus: Here’s a list of all the shops allowed to operate in Oman during COVID-19 ban.

On Friday, Oman’s Ministry of Health announced 22 new cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus  in the Sultanate.

In a statement, the MOH has verified that of the 22 Omani citizens newly-diagnosed, 10 cases are linked to contact with former infected patients, 8 cases are linked with travel, and 4 cases are under epidemiological investigation.

The Ministry statement also said that there have been 23 cases thus far that have successfully recovered. The total number of registered COVID-19 cases in Oman now stands at 131.

Oman has entered a stage of community transmission of Coronavirus and the number of cases are expected to rise, said His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Saif al Hosani, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health.

In an interview with Oman TV, the official stated that the only way to stop the transmission of the virus is to practice social distancing. 

He also added: “In some countries institutional quarantine has had bad results, and has shown more cases of transmission. Home quarantine has shown positive results mentally as the patient will receive better support from his or her family.”

Source: Oman TV

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Armed Forces ready to support Oman.

The General Chief of Staff of the Sultan’s Armed Forces has affirmed the military’s readiness to support the Sultanate in efforts to combat the current, ongoing outbreak of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the nation.


In a statement shared by Oman News Agency today [Friday March 27], the General Chief of Staff reiterated that the Sultan’s Armed Forces “have harnessed all their capabilities to support the Supreme Committee in charge of discussing a mechanism to deal with developments resulting from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

His Majesty the Sultan has donated RO10 million to the national Coronavirus Relief fund.

HM Sultan Haitham Bin Tariq has presided over a meeting of the Supreme Committee for dealing with Coronavirus today [March 26]. 



In the meeting, HM the Sultan expressed his appreciation of the efforts that has been done by all public and private entities, especially those in the healthcare during this pandemic.

He assured that Oman’s Government will give all its resources and will not spare any efforts in combatting its pandemic and controlling its spread in order to protect the health of citizens and residents.

He stressed that these efforts will not achieve its targets unless everybody – both citizens and residents – works together and comply with the directives and instructions that come from the Supreme Committee.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Millions of rials have been donated to The Ministry of Health Coronavirus appeal fund launched this week. 

After Oman’s Supreme Committee for tackling the COVID-19 outbreak in the Sultanate announced on Tuesday, March 24 that it would be allocating a dedicated bank account for donations under the auspices of the Ministry of Health (MOH), the community answered.

Bank Muscat announced today [Thursday, March 26] that it will be contributing OMR 1 million towards the cause — namely to fund necessary medical equipment and supplies — in a statement posted on their Twitter account.

Oman’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) has also stepped in to pledge OMR 2 million, reports Oman News Agency (ONA) today.

The OCCI Board also slated another sum of OMR 1 million to enhance the Job Security Fund established recently under the directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik.

Oman’s National Youth Commission has issued a call-to-action to youth across the nation to volunteer today  in support of efforts to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Sultanate.

In a Tweet posted on their official platform today the NYC invited Oman’s young volunteers to participate in Relief and Shelter Sector efforts.

Areas of duty where volunteers are needed include:

1.Receiving Omani students returning from abroad at Muscat International Airport, recording their data on a prepared form, and ensuring they reach the area of quarantine — either in their homes or via institutional quarantine.

2. To liaise in the finding of accommodation for people who have been ordered to go into institutional quarantine in hotels designated for sanitary isolation under the auspices of the Ministry of Health, and following up on provisions for their requirements during the isolation period.

3.To keep the Ministry of Health team updated on the health conditions of each volunteer’s students. Each volunteer will be in charge of assisting 1 per cent of the overall total of returning students.

4.Any additional tasks assigned during the period in which the Relief and Shelter Sector is activated.

5.The duration period for volunteer requirements will be for as long as the Relief and Shelter Sector remains activated.

According to the NYC, those wishing to act as volunteers can do so by registering online before 10:00 p.m. this evening [Thursday, March 26]. Volunteer participation is open to all citizens and residents of Oman between the ages of 20 to 45, who are in good health and free from any chronic disease.

Also read: HM The Sultan donates RO10 million to combat Coronavirus.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: A video circulating online of huge crowds at a supermarket are NOT from Oman.

A video purportedly showing people panic buying at an Oman supermarket went viral on social media, but the  video has since been dubbed as ‘false news’ by Oman’s Government Communication Center.

In a statement clarifying the authenticity of the video, the government body said: “The video belongs to another Gulf country and was circulated a week ago.”

This comes at a time when the Supreme Committee for dealing with Coronavirus has effected a 2-meter rule between people at checkout counters, and has called for people to shop only when necessary.

Never believe what you see on the internet unless it’s from a reliable source – that’s the rule of thumb when watching online.

2000 hotel rooms in Oman have been allocated for quarantine purposes if required.

40 hotel establishments across the Sultanate have come forward to donate a total of 2,000 spare rooms, the Ministry of Tourism says.

In a Tweet issued today [Thursday, March 26], the Ministry expressed its appreciation and gratitude to the owners of those establishments who donated rooms for their cooperation.

Any hoteliers who wish to also contribute spare rooms for quarantine may do so.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) announced  15 new cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Sultanate on Wednesday.

In a statement made today [Wednesday, March 25], the MOH said that seven of the latest cases are linked to contact with infected patients, seven linked to travel to the United Kingdom, the USA and Spain, while one case is under epidemiological investigation.

Also read: MoHE mobilizes to bring Omani students abroad home

This brings the total number of registered cases of COVID-19 to 99.

The Ministry also said that number of people who recovered from the virus in Oman is 17


In other developments today…

Taxis may no longer carry more than TWO passengers.

Muttrah Fish Market and Souk have been told to close.

Britain’s Prince Charles has tested positive for COVID-19.


Omantel in partnership with the Ministry of Health is financing the purchase of more than 24,000 laboratory test kits for COVID 19 that will be used for sample collection.

Providing the tools they say will enable the Ministry of Health to improve and accelerate getting test results.

And a second 24 hour call center for the Ministry of Health is to be opened again by Omantel, so that more citizens and residents can call and inquire about the virus.

The numbers to call are 24441999 on a landline or 1212 on any mobile network.


The Supreme Committee for dealing with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has announced new decisions to tackle the pandemic in Oman.

The decisions include: 

1) All local and international flights will be suspended in Oman starting from noon on Sunday, March 29.

2) Decision 1 will exclude cargo and passenger flights to Musandam.

3) The government will arrange for the return of Omani citizens – especially Omani students under scholarship – back home. All returning citizens will be placed under institutional quarantine.

4) A bank account for the public to make donations will be opened under the name of the Ministry of Health. Details on this will be released later.

5) The committee directed the relevant authorities to allocate places to wash the deceased in all states, and to deal with each body according to the requirements of the risk of infection.

6) A Medical and General Health strategy has been activated.

7) A Relief and Sheltering plan has been activated.

* This is a developing story.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: 18 more cases in Oman have been announced by the Ministry of Health today. 

In a statement, the MOH said that 11 of the latest cases were confirmed in citizens “linked to contact with an infected patient.”



Five of the newly reported cases were linked to traveling from the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates, while two are under investigation, said the MoH.

These latest diagnoses bring the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Oman to 84, with 17 patients considered as having recovered as per the MOH.

The Ministry urges citizens and residents to adhere fully to the instructions set forth by the Supreme Committee on social distancing measures to help control further spread of the virus.

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has opened a special bank account to receive public contributions for the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic.

This decision came after the Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 issued a ruling asking the MOH to set up a bank account to take in public donations.

The details of the account are as follows:

 

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Citizens and residents suffering from communicable diseases in Oman must report it to the relevant authorities, or else face jail time and a hefty fine.

You can read more about this here.

DON’T GO INTO WORK IF YOU CAN WORK FROM HOME Oman’s Ministry of Manpower (MoM) has issued a statement today [Tuesday, March 24], urging the private sector not to demand their employees come in to work and put themselves and others at risk of COVID-19 infection.



In the statement announced on social media, the MoM said that it “stresses the necessity for workers in private sector institutions to adhere strictly to domestic quarantine procedures and for business owners not to summon them to work during the period of home quarantine.”

 

The MoM further called on private sector employees to do their part in following instructions and preventative measures issued by the Ministry of Health to limit the spread of respiratory illnesses such as COVID-19.

Also read: Coronavirus: MOH calls for ban on two brands of hand sanitizer in Oman.

Get more news here

Oman Air has announced the temporary suspension of all flight operations to Dubai, UAE, and Nairobi, Kenya,
in line with the latest travel restrictions mitigated by the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic.

New Decisions Announced.

The Supreme Committee for dealing with the Coronavirus in Oman has issued a set of decisions to further help fight the pandemic in the Sultanate.

The decisions include:

1)  Reducing the number of employees in government agencies to no more than 30 per cent of the total number of employees to complete tasks, while the rest of the employees work remotely as determined by the authority.

Heads of the government units must take necessary measures to ensure that the business/work is not affected by the downsizing of staff. And, all precautionary and preventive measures to prevent the spread of the pandemic must be taken.

2) Preventing gatherings of all kinds in public places, and taking appropriate legal actions against violators.

3) Closing all customer service points in all public and private institutions, and using electronic services as much as possible.

4) Closing all money exchanges. Banks will continue to provide exchange services.

5) Stopping the printing of newspapers, magazines and publications of various kinds; preventing their circulation; and preventing the sale and circulation of newspapers, magazines and publications issued outside the Sultanate.

6) Limit dealing in banknotes, and to use electronic payment as an alternative, as banknotes pose a risk of spreading the virus among the society.

The authority has also urged the private sector to develop appropriate mechanisms for remote work, and to reduce the number of workers and employees at the workplace.

Source: Oman TV, Al Wisal

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Three more cases in Oman.

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced three new confirmed cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Sultanate. This brings the total number of positive cases to 55, with 17 recoveries.

In a statement issued Saturday, the Ministry said that three cases were reported, two cases have been linked with travel to the UK and Spain, and two others have been locally transmitted in patients who were in close contact with those previously infected.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Oman now rises to 52, with 13 patients having recovered, states the MOH.

The Ministry urges all citizens and residents to adhere to all quarantine procedures, avoid public spaces and gatherings, and to continue practicing good hygiene including regular, thorough washing of hands with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and “following healthy habits when coughing and sneezing.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Flights to Pakistan and Nepal cancelled. 

Oman Air has announced that it will be temporarily suspending operations to Pakistan and Nepal as the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic continues.

Get more news here



The airline stated that as of Sunday, March 22 all flights to the Pakistani cities of Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad are cancelled, effective until April 4, 2020 due to new travel restrictions.

From Monday, March 23, it will also be temporarily suspending all service to Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu, effective until March 31, 2020.

The airline has instructed passengers with bookings to contact their customer service Call Centre or contact the Oman Air office in their respective home country for support.

 

The United Arab Emirates reported two deaths from the Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Friday. More here.

 

Image for illustrative purposes only

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has announced that it will be pulling two brands of hand sanitizer from shelves in Oman after a manufacturer recall due to overly-high percentages of methanol in both products.

The first brand recalled is First Hand Sanitizing Gel manufactured by Rayat Al Bayan Factory for Medical Sterilizers and Disinfectants in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The second recalled brand is Shield Hand Sanitizing Gel, manufactured by Bon Pharmaceutical Industries, also in Saudi Arabia. 

The MOH advises the public to refrain from purchasing these two products as they are no longer registered as approved by the Ministry.


Oman Air has announced that starting on Sunday
 it will temporarily suspend all operations to the Republic of India amid ongoing travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic.



In a statement issued today [Friday, March 20], Oman Air stated that the suspension would be up until at least March 28, but could be extended pending further updates or developments. The directive comes on the heels of India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation announcing that it would be temporarily suspending commercial flights to and from all Indian airports starting from Sunday, March 22.

 
 


COVID-19 Coronavirus update: 

Oman’s ministry of health has launched a live Coronavirus tracker website to reassure citizens. It can be accessed by clicking the image above or here

Nine more people have tested positive for Coronavirus in Oman, bringing the total number of cases to 48. 

The Ministry of Health say eight patients are Omani and one is an expat. 

It’s also reported that three of the cases were transmitted by contact with infected patients. 

Meanwhile, the other six cases have been linked to travel to the US, UK, Egypt and India. The ministry stated that 13 cases have recovered so far.

Oman has unveiled a set of measures to help reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the national economy.

The Walk Al Mouj, usually bustling, is deserted tonight.


The measures taken by the government are as follows:

1. Provide additional stock of basic food commodities.

2. Make government warehouses available for private sector at no cost for stocking food commodities. This will be for a period of six months.

3. Exempt restaurants from tourism and municipality tax until the end of August 2020.

4. Exempt businesses (commercial establishments) from municipality fees until the end of August 2020.

5. Accept the deference of loan installments to the Al Raffd Fund by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) for six months.

6. Accept deference of loans to be paid to the Oman Development Bank for the next six months.

7. Response by the Oman Development Bank and Al-Rafd Fund to the credit facilities approved by the Central Bank of Oman

8. Exempt factories in industrial areas from all rent costs for next three months.

9. Exempt all active businesses from renewal fees for the next three months.

10. All car dealers and financial companies must consider postponing car loan payments for three months.

11. Reduce shipment, handling and unloading fees at all ports; and air freight charges on food products and medicines.

12. It has also asked all owners of commercial complexes, malls, and buildings to consider the current situation and be more lenient to rented stores – whether by exempting, reducing or postponing rents.

Companies in Oman seeking to acquire visas are currently no longer able to do so, as the Royal Oman Police announced Wednesday that all types of visas are suspended until further notice.



شرطة عُمان السلطانية @RoyalOmanPolice
 

تسترعي شرطة عمان السلطانية انتباه الجميع بأنه تم إيقاف إصدار التأشيرات بكافة أنواعها.

 
 
 
 

The ROP has also issued a warning to the public to beware of online scammers and fraudsters seeking to capitalize on the spread of COVID-19.

In a statement made on its social media, the ROP cautioned that: “Interpol has recorded a number of fraud cases linked to the spread of coronavirus in a number of countries. ROP advises residents and citizens to stay vigilant and careful when buying medical equipment online during this period. As demand for face-masks and medical accessories has increased world-wide, many fraudsters have created fake online shops.”

The ROP has cautioned consumers to adhere to the following advice when purchasing medical accessories or equipment online:

  1. Conduct a verification check on the company or individual before purchasing to make sure they are a legitimate seller.
  2. Check the website’s ‘http’ address. Fraudsters usually use addresses similar to real ones, like ‘abc.org’ or ‘abc.com’.
  3. Check the product reviews to see if other customers have complained about their product orders not reaching them.
  4. Be alarmed if the company asks you to transfer payment to a country other than the one in which the company’s base is located.
  5. If you suspect you have been a victim of fraud, contact your bank and ask them to cancel the transaction.
  6. Be cautious of emails that have links to buy medical supplies or equipment, or to go through a medical test, as legitimate companies do not communicate with their customers in this manner.

 


The Ministry of Health has announced six new coronavirus cases in the country, bringing the total to 39. 

In a statement issued online, MOH said  that all cases have been linked to travel.

Oman’s Ministry of Transport has suspended all public transport in the Sultanate starting Thursday, March 19, in a bid to stall the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

The Ministry said that all transport services “including buses, ferries, and mini-bus taxis” would be suspended from Thursday onwards with the exception of bus and ferry services to and from Musandam Governorate and to and from the Wilayat of Masirah.

The Ministry of Health says it has registered nine new cases of coronavirus in Oman.

According to a statement issued online, It said eight citizens and one expatriate had tested positive. “Bringing the total cases to 33 in the country,” but the statement added that 12 people have recovered.

The Supreme Committee in charge of Coronavirus planning in Oman has issued a number of directives, effective immediately.

All shops in malls must be closed starting March 18th.  The government body has also asked for the closure of traditional markets and souks.

The Supreme Committee has, however, issued an exception on hypermarkets and groceries, pharmacies, clinics and optical shops.

Additionally all gymnasiums, barber shops, and beauty salons must close, while restaurants, cafes, and eateries – including those in hotels – will not be allowed to serve food in their premises in a bid to reduce the risk of local transmission of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

However, the ruling will not affect takeaways or deliveries.

All mosques will remain closed for prayer, except for prayer calls.

The decision was also extended to other houses of worship, including churches and temples, to help combat the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Oman.

All gatherings in public areas have been banned. This includes beaches, wadis, mountains, hot springs, and other tourist attractions.

The committee has also asked for all events and gatherings to be suspended in Oman.

Omanis will NOT be allowed to leave the country from Wednesday March 18th  and until further notice. The law will come into effect from 12 pm.

The Supreme Committee has also stated that non-Omanis will not be allowed to enter the country from its borders.

Update: Expats can leave the country but NOT re-enter until further notice.

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of Oman has announced that it will be allowing the use of VoIP services as more companies ask employees to work from home.



The decision is meant to help businesses and those in the educational sector continue their tasks online through the use of video conferencing services.

As per TRA’s statement, the decision was made due to the ‘exceptional circumstances’ that have resulted from the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

TRA states that it has decided to allow the use of Skype for Business, Google Meet and Zoom.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: New Official Govt Twitter account launched, more recoveries and more cancelled flights. Here’s the latest.

Oman Air has announced it will be suspending operations to Egypt and Bahrain until further notice.



In a statement issued today on its official Twitter account, the airline clarified the decision was “due to new travel restrictions” and have requested that passengers holding Oman Air bookings contact their Call Centre or the local Oman Air booking office in their country of origin.

Oman’s Ministry of Health  has announced that three more Coronavirus patients have recovered in Oman. This brings the number of recoveries to 12.  Two more cases of the Novel Coronavirus were confirmed in the Sultanate on Monday. 

In a statement, the ministry announced: “The Ministry of Health announces the registration of two new confirmed cases with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) of Omani citizens.

“Their condition is stable and they are under home isolation. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases registered in the Sultanate to 24.

“Noting that 22 cases are linked to traveling abroad and two cases are under epidemiological investigation.”

The MOH called upon everyone in the Sultanate to adhere to the quarantine procedures as instructed and avoid public and worship places.

Furthermore, it also called upon all to avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary as well as following the precautionary measures during religious rituals and family and social gatherings.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: The Government Communication Center has launched a new Twitter account for the official transmission of news to the public regarding developments surrounding the Novel Coronavirus.



The Twitter handle – @OmanVSCovid19 – was formed to provide authentic news to the public.

The account will work in cooperation with relevant government agencies so that residents can receive official local news of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.

The Public Authority for Water – Diam – will be closing its customer service branches across the Sultanate in a bid to help control the spread of the Novel Coronavirus in Oman.

The branches will close its doors on March 22 and until further notice, Diam stated.

Get more news here

In a statement, PACA – in accordance with the Supreme Committee tasked with combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oman – said that it would be enforcing decisions to further tighten control over the spread of the virus. 

The decisions are:

1) Stop the entry of non-omanis, except GCC citizens and residents through land and sea borders of Oman.

2) Quarantine will be applied to all, including Omanis and expat residents re-entering the country.

3) Oman will continue allowing transit travelers through its airports.

4) All health measures will be taken to protect the aviation staff in airports

These decisions will come into effect from 12 noon tomorrow [March 17] and for a period of 30 days – but it is subject to renewal.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Airport remains open despite rumours, all social gatherings at hotels cancelled. Here’s the latest:

The Public Authority for Civil Aviation in Oman has denied rumours of the closure of the Muscat International Airport. 



Earlier, rumours of the Sultanate shutting down the airport amid concerns over the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) had spread on social media.

A statement issued by the ministry read: “There is no truth in what is being circulated regarding the closure of the the Muscat International Airport or any of the Sultanate’s airports.

“All of the nation’s airports are operating normally.”

 
 
الهيئة العامة للطّيران المدني @PACAOMAN
 

🔴 لاصحة لما يتم تداوله بشأن إغلاق مطار مسقط الدولي أو أي من مطارات السلطنة، مع التنويه باستمرار رحلات المسافرين المحولين والشحن الجوي.

 
 

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Hotels told to end all social events. Effective from Tuesday, March 17, hotels across Oman are being called on by the Ministry of Tourism to cancel or postpone any social events scheduled to take place on their premises.



In a statement issued on their official Twitter account, the Ministry of Tourism said that: “All hotel establishments with different classifications such as hotels, resorts, camps, and hotel apartments, must stop all social gatherings such as weddings, celebrations, and other events in their halls and interior and exterior spaces as of ‪Tuesday, March 17 2020‬.”

The Ministry has also clarified that these measures are temporary and were implemented in line with global procedures.

Hospital suspends treatment, Friday prayers cancelled, and non-GCC visitors barred from entering the country.
 

Oman’s Royal Hospital will be suspending routine treatment services for non-urgent cases until further notice starting from today, the Ministry of Health has announced. In the statement, the MOH reports that only those cases “whose delay in appointments does not directly affect their health” will be impacted by the suspension.

The measure comes in a bid to combat the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic and has been implemented “in the interest of patient and community safety.”

The suspensions will affect routine appointments in the outpatient and operational departments in coordination with patients in “a manner that does not affect their health condition and treatment plan.”

The Supreme Committee that was formed to combat the spread of Coronavirus in Oman has announced that Friday prayers will be suspended until further notice.

To control the outbreak of the virus, the committee has also barred non-Omanis from entering the country unless they are GCC citizens.

All visitors – including Omanis – will be quarantined starting from Tuesday [March 17].

The committee has banned all social gatherings, including weddings and funerals. Nizwa Fort, The National Museum and all public parks will also be closed.

This comes after 22 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Oman.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: The Ministry of Education (MoE) will begin a programme to telecast lessons live on the air for students of Class 12 via Oman TV Live channel.



This decision came following the month-long closure of classes in schools by the Supreme Committee tasked with combating the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oman.

The programme will provide lessons in accordance with the curriculum throughout the period of suspension from 9 am to 1 pm in all days of the week, except Friday and Saturday.

Two more cases reported,   Fines for unhygienic workers and no need to panic buy, say retailers. Here’s the latest.

Oman’s Ministry of Health has announced the confirmation of new cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, bringing the total number of COVID-19 patients in the Sultanate to 22.



In a statement made today, [Sunday, March 15] the MOH said that the patient is currently receiving treatment in hospital. Currently 18 cases linked to patients who had previously traveled to Iran and Italy, and two other confirmed cases under ‘epidemiological investigation’.

The MOH has urged all those under quarantine to adhere to procedures for isolation and avoid public places or places of worship. They also issue a reminder to the general public to follow best practices for hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as frequent hand-washing and taking precautions when coughing or sneezing.

The MOH also urges the public to avoid attending cinemas and traveling ‘unless absolutely necessary’, and to follow all precautionary measures at social gatherings.

Muscat Municipality has announced that it will be levying fines on those public health workers who are caught flouting personal hygiene practices such as regular, thorough hand-washing, reports Al Wisal FM.



Those found in violation will now have to pay a OMR 20 fine, the Municipality clarified in a statement, saying: “According to the law, Muscat Municipality affirms the necessity for workers in activities related to public health to adhere to personal hygiene and attention to work sites, in order to avoid violating rules and to prevent the causes of the spread of COVID-19.”

DON’T PANIC! Residents in the Sultanate need not worry about shortages of basic supplies which has led to ‘panic’-buying or stockpiling behaviour in other affected countries in the wake of the impact of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

In a statement made to Oman News Agency [ONA], the CEO of the General Authority for Warehousing and Food Reserve has confirmed that basic food commodities will be available in all shopping and distribution centres across Oman and that there is “no justification for concern” about shortages in the wake of COVID-19. 

In the statement, which was published to ONA’s official Twitter account today [Sunday, March 15], the General Authority assured the public that “the governorates have completed their preparations to provide goods in the market,” and that the General Authority for Warehousing and Food Reserve is working closely with various government agencies and institutions along with the private sector to ensure that consumer needs are met. 

In the statement, the General Authority praised this close collaboration between sectors as they “stand together in order to overcome these exceptional circumstances.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Schools in Oman are closed, the Oman entry borders have closed to visitors from the UAE,  and a rumour that a patient had died of coronavirus at the royal hospital has been denied by authorities. Here’s the latest:

Classes at all educational institutions in Oman will be suspended for one month starting from today, an Oman TV report stated.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

This comes as a part of the nation’s efforts to control the spread of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Supreme committee that was formed to combat the virus has advised people to avoid all gatherings and keep children at home during the suspension period. 

The United Arab Emirates has announced today that it will be temporarily suspending the issuance of all visas, save for diplomatic passport-holders, in an effort to further contain the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Emirates, reports The National.

Gulf News also reports that the decision will not impact those valid visa-holders whose visas were issued “prior to the effective date.” The UAE’s Federal Authority For Identity and Citizenship has stated that the precautionary measure was implemented in response to the World Health Organization [WHO]’s classification of COVID-19 as pandemic. 

The suspension will remain in effect until “countries of departure activate a mechanism for medical screening of passengers as an additional measure,” reports Gulf News. 

The government of Abu Dhabi has also announced the temporary closure of its main tourist attractions starting from Sunday until March 31, including theme parks and cultural destinations such as The Louvre Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld, and Ferrari World.The Royal Hospital has issued a statement confirming that no patient suffering from COVID-19 has died in Oman. This followed a false rumour circulated on social media. 

The statement said, “The Royal Hospital clarifies that the message being circulated through social media about the hospital recording the first death of an infected person is false.” “The patient is recieving treatment and is in intensive care, is stable and recovering”. 

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: One more case confirmed, Shisha and cinemas should be avoided say Supreme Committee and no more tourist visas to visit Oman.

Get more news here

Oman’s Ministry of Health [MOH] has confirmed Thursday a new case of COVID-19 novel coronavirus in an Omani citizen, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the Sultanate to 19.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

In a statement issued on social media, the MOH said that the patient is receiving supportive treatment in hospital. Currently, 17 of the confirmed cases have been linked to citizens or residents who had traveled to Iran and one to Italy. The MOH clarified that this newest case is under ‘epidemiological investigation’, and urges all citizens and residents to practice preventative measures and hygiene practices to ensure that the virus does not spread further.

Those under quarantine are instructed to avoid public places and places of worship and to adhere to all quarantine protocols.

(Also read: #BREAKING: Oman government issues 6 decisions to combat the spread of Coronavirus.)

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: The Supreme Committee to combat the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has issued a number of new decisions to combat the spread of the disease.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

These decisions will be effective from 15 March, 2020, for a period of 30 days. They include:

– No more tourist visas will be issued for visitors to Oman from any countries.

– No tourist cruises to enter Oman ports.

– Shisha must not be served in eateries.

– All sport activities must be suspended.

– Suspension of all student activities in schools apart from in-class education.

– The committee has also advised people not to travel if not necessary, and to avoid going to cinema theaters.

– Court hearings to be attended by people relevant to the cases only.

Get more news here

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) have announced an ambitious integrated plan to tackle the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Sultanate and ensure that ROP service to the public remains timely and seamless.

In an extensive statement shared on social media, the ROP outlined that the plan is to provide virus testing kits and other added means of protection.

The ROP also aims to draft protocol measures to cope with suspected cases of COVID-19 infection, and augment its capacity and response time for detection through swift laboratory analysis. Special isolation facilities will also be prepared so that suspects can be quarantined and treated safely and promptly without spread of further infection.

Emergency care facilities will be furnished to handle all necessary protocols required during acute times which can occur at a moment’s notice. 

The statement also outlined that the entry of passengers arriving by land, sea, or air will be closely monitored by the ROP and that all arrivals into the Sultanate must fill out a voluntary disclosure form and will have their passports inspected for any recent travel to COVID-19-affected nations.

These procedures aim to help simplify the process of setting up a database that can be easily communicated to health authorities in the Sultanate in cases where COVID-19 infection is suspected.

To assist in these measures, GCC citizens wishing to enter Oman must now present a valid passport as a travel document rather than their national ID card.

In the statement, Brigadier Dr. Abdul Malik bin Suleiman Al Kharousi, Director General of Medical Services at the Royal Oman Police, explained that the department has divided its force into several teams tasked with the following responsibilities: A general working group for dealing with COVID-19, a team to raise awareness, and medical cadres to oversee swift intervention and treatment for those infected and, also, to offer preliminary screenings for those who present with symptoms.

Also read: ROP sets up new mobile hospital to tackle Coronavirus.)

Also read: WHO declares Coronavirus as pandemic.)

شرطة عُمان السلطانية @RoyalOmanPolice
 

تنفذ خطة متكاملة للتعامل مع فيروس ( COVID 19)

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COVID-19 Coronavirus update: 15 million rials has been awarded for the construction of a new hospital in Dhofar Governorate,   The new facility will be built in Al Mayzouna the Oman News Agency says.

The Royal Oman Police says it will set up a mobile hospital for the treatment of patients. Equipped with an intensive care unit, laboratories and four wards – three of which will be in Muscat– the mobile hospital will further help the Sultanate tackle the disease. The ROP also said that it was implementing COVID 19 awareness and training campaigns within the force.

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) has taken steps to set up a mobile hospital for the treatment of patients.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

This was revealed by the Director General of Medical Services of the ROP, who added that they had prepared a team that would undertake the handling of patients on the field.

Equipped with an intensive care unit, laboratories and four wards – three of which are located in the Governorate of Muscat and a fourth in the Sultan Qaboos Academy of Police Sciences – the mobile ward will further help the Sultanate tackle the disease.

Get more news here

The ROP also said that it was implementing steps to limit the spread of the virus within the force by promoting awareness and training campaigns.

Oman Air has announced that it will be suspending all operations from the Sultanate of Oman to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia amid growing concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

In a statement to the public, the airline wrote: “As a result of new travel restrictions, Oman Air will temporarily be suspending all flights between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Sultanate of Oman with effect from tomorrow, March 12, 2020.

“Guests based in Saudi Arabia holding Oman Air flight bookings can contact our Jeddah office at Tel: (+966) 1151 08733.

It added: “All guests in other parts of our international network can call our call center at Tel: (968) 2453 1111 or contact Oman Air representatives in their country of origin.”

 
Oman Air @omanair
 
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COVID-19 Coronavirus update: The new Supreme Committee in charge of tackling the Coronavirus (COVID-19) meets today for the first time
to discuss a framework to deal with the current developments of the disease.
 

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

The meeting will be chaired by His Excellency Sayyid Hamoud bin Faisal al Busaidi, the Minister of Interior.

The intention of the committee is to monitor the movement of the virus within the nation and the efforts made regionally and globally to tackle the virus.

The committee is also expected to follow up on the measures taken to develop appropriate solutions, proposals and recommendations based on the results of the general health assessment. 
Source: Al Wisal

Diwan of Royal Court issues statement on the formation of a supreme committee to tackle COVID-19.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

The Diwan of Royal Court issued a statement on Tuesday, March 10, reading as follows:

“His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik issued his Royal orders to form a supreme committee to study scopes for a mechanism to handle developments resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19) in light of fresh data and updated indicators from the World Health Organization on this topic.

The Royal orders stipulated the formation of the supreme committee under the chairmanship of the Minister of Interior, with a number of top officials as members. The committee shall be tasked with monitoring the developments of the virus and regional and international efforts to contain it.

The committee will also have the duty of following up all procedures taken in this regard and devising suitable solutions, proposals, and recommendations in accordance with results of the general health evaluation.

The committee has the discretion of seeking instruments and necessary measures to ensure the success of the tasks entrusted to it.

May the Almighty Allah protect His Majesty the Sultan under His divine care and safeguard our dear homeland and its loyal people against any harm!”

Source: ONA

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COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Nine make a full recovery

The Ministry of Health say that nine out of the eighteen patients in Oman  diagnosed with the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) have successfully recovered.

This was revealed after news of two more positive cases in the Sultanate came to light on Monday.

The Ministry of Health reported that the new cases of Coronavirus were linked two citizens who had traveled to Iran.

They are currently subject to quarantine and their condition is stable, the Ministry added.

This brought the total number of confirmed cases in the Sultanate to 18.

The ministry also called on all infected people to adhere to the quarantine procedures according to the guidelines, not to go to public places or places of worship.

Oman’s Ministry of Health (MOH) has clarified that a video circulating on social media is old and irrelevant to the current Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The old interview video clip being circulated comes from a TV show that was aired during the outbreak of the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

In a statement to the public, the Ministry called upon residents to not stir panic in the society and not pay attention to rumours.
It also asked the public to only rely on official news sources for information.

The Ministry of Health has confirmed two more cases of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oman.

Both patients were linked to travel to Iran. This brings the total number of cases in the Sultanate to 18.

In a statement, the ministry revealed: “The Ministry of Health (MOH) announces the registration of two new confirmed cases with Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) of citizens linked to traveling to Iran.

It added: “The two cases are under quarantine and in stable condition. This brings the total number of COVID-19 cases registered in the Sultanate to 18, of which 17 cases are from travels related to Iran and one to Italy.

“The Ministry affirms that nine cases have completely recovered while the others are in stable health conditions.”

وزارة الصحة – عُمان @OmaniMOH
 

No 12
9 March 2020

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has temporarily suspended land and sea travel to and from Oman amid growing concerns of the Novel Coronavirus.
COVID-19 Coronavirus update

Saudi Arabia also listed France, Germany, Turkey, Spain, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, South Korea, Egypt, Italy, and Iraq in it’s temporary travel ban.

As per the state news agency, SPA, the measures were taken to reduce the risk of transmission of the disease.

In a report published by Reuters, the Interior Ministry was quoted as saying that ‘people coming from these countries – or who have visited any of them within 14 days prior to travel to Saudi Arabia – will not be allowed to enter.’
Source: Reuters

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A patient in Oman who tested positive for Coronavirus reportedly skipped his quarantine and visited a mosque, according to a report published by Al Wisal Radio.

In an interview Dr. Amal Saif Al Maani, head of the Directorate General of Disease Surveillance and Control at the Ministry of Health (MOH) said  “It was noted that one of the patients with Coronavirus had skipped his quarantine from home and visited a mosque for prayers where a congregation was present.

She added: “The absence of symptoms of the Coronavirus does not mean that the person is completely safe from the illness.

“Strict measures must be taken during the quarantine period, and they must take care not to spread the virus to others.”

The number of positive coronavirus cases reached 16 in Oman on Thursday, with no further cases reported since. Those advised to stay home and isolate themselves after they’ve been diagnosed with the symptoms of COVID-19 must follow all guidelines issued by the Ministry of Health, or face legal action.

In the latest developments The Ministry of Health has recommended all international events and conferences in the Sultanate should be postponed till further notice, while the Ministry of Education has warned all educational institutions not to suspend studies without their prior approval.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Travelers from Egypt face mandatory quarantine.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

Travellers entering Oman from Egypt will be placed under mandatory quarantine, as per a statement issued by the Ministry of Health (MOH).

The statement reads: “Based on the global and regional developments of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), institutional or home quarantine will be enforced to all travelers coming from Egypt from the date of issuance of this statement.”

The ministry has also called upon travellers who entered the Sultanate from Egypt during the last 14 days to contact the center of the Ministry of Health in case they have developed any respiratory symptoms. 

Residents and tourists are requested to adhere to quarantine procedures and take information only from official sources.

Flights between Egypt and Oman cancelled.
In a Tweet, PACA announced that chartered flights between the two nations would be put on hold for a one-month period as control measures continue against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

In the statement PACA also announced that residents who must enter the Sultanate coming from Egypt must provide a pre-examination certificate to confirm that they are free of the virus. As an extended measure, those entering will also be placed under quarantine for 14 days.

Expat residents from Iran, South Korea, Italy and China will not be allowed entry back into Oman even if they have valid visas, Oman’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs [MoFA] has announced.

The move comes in an attempt by the Ministry to further crack down on the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in the Sultanate, as it urges all expat residents from these four specified countries with high spread of COVID-19 to remain in the Sultanate.

Additionally, travelers from other nationalities attempting to return to Oman from any of these four nations will also be denied entry.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Student tests positive.

The College of Banking and Financial Studies (CBFS) has said that one student tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Wednesday, bringing the total number of known cases in Oman to 16. The latest case has been linked with travel to Milan, Italy.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

The college held an emergency meeting – chaired by Dr. Khalfan al Barwani, head of Board Members – and decided to suspend operations for a period of two weeks, including events and activities.

Also read: Jail and fine If you break quarantine rules.

Ministry of Health (MOH) officials attended the meeting, the college said. It added in a tweet that it will take all necessary preventive measures like sanitizing the facilities in the college and following up with the students to ensure their safety.

Get more news here

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: No leave for health workers.

Health workers in Oman are being urged by the Ministry of Health (MOH) not to take leave as the Sultanate grapples with the containment of further cases of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

A ministerial decision issued Thursday by Oman’s Minister of Health, Dr. Ahmed Al Saidi, instructs those staff working in the healthcare sector that:

Medical staff are not allowed to go on leave except in cases where it is an extreme emergency.

They are also requested not to promote any product whose efficacy is not scientifically-proven against the coronavirus or that is not certified by the Ministry, and to ensure that prices for medications and/or medical supplies are not unduly increased.

Finally, those who have been quarantined are urged to adhere to the guidelines and instructions set forth by the MOH to avoid public places and places of worship.

(Read also: What punish will those who flout the Coronavirus quarantine in Oman receive?)

(Read also: College in Oman temporarily shuts down after student detects positive for Coronavirus.)


Three more cases detected in Oman.

Oman’s Ministry of Health has confirmed a further three more cases of coronavirus have been found.

One Omani and Two Iranian nationals showed positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). There are now 15 cases of coronavirus in the country. All cases come from links to Iran.

No school closures, despite rumours, MoE issues circular to schools 

Oman’s Ministry of Education has issued preventive measures for schools to reduce the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). It came as false rumours that schools were about to close for three weeks spread online.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update
The ministry has instead called for suspending all events and educational activities at governorate or school level until further notice.

Schools must include in morning assembly, tips on preventive measures to reduce the spread of infection.
Additionally, easy to follow instructional notices and posters must be placed in all education establishments.

Schools must also avoid crowding students, in cafeterias for example, and windows in school buses should be kept open, and areas and transport used by students must be regularly disinfected, the circular says.


COVID-19 Coronavirus update: No entry from infected countries.

Travellers coming from countries where coronavirus has spread will not be allowed into Oman by land air or sea, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says.

This new decision includes travellers who are on transit flights too, even if they have valid visas. However, the ministry did not mention which countries are included in the decision.

2 recover, 2300 quarantined in Oman.

The Minister of Health has revealed that two of the twelve reported Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Oman have recovered.


At a press conference he also stated that a total of 2,367 residents have been quarantined in the country, of which 2,318 have been quarantined in their homes.

The other residents have been quarantined in health centres.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: The Ministry of Health has outlined the steps taken so far.

The steps taken by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Oman to tackle the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) was the focus of the press conference that was held today [March 2, 2020].



The Minister of Health, HE Dr. Ahmed Mohammed al Saidi, said that the MOH had already implemented all preparations when the disease was first announced in China.

He said: “The most significant actions that were taken by the Sultanate are developing guidelines and policies on preventing the introduction of this disease in the country as well as on means of dealing with any suspected imported cases.”

Moreover, healthcare professionals were trained in handling the disease, and the competencies and preparedness of health institutions to address epidemics – particularly regarding infection control and surveillance – were increased. 

The minister also said that the electronic epidemiological surveillance system has been ‘promoted and updated’ to monitor the confirmed cases as well as quarantined residents.

Moreover, the Central Public Health Laboratory was equipped with the necessary diagnostic reagents; public health proceedings at various points of entry (air, sea, and land) were strengthened; and with the registration of the first confirmed cases (on February 24, 2020), the epidemic classification for the public health emergency preparedness and responses was raised to the third category.

This prioritised in preventing secondary and community transmissions.

The ministry has developed a comprehensive guide on the institutional and home quarantine, and aims to provide the medical aid and care to those quarantined.

HE Dr. Ahmed al Saidi also requested those exhibiting even the slightest of symptoms to come forward and reach out to the health bodies. He also asked them to avoid visiting public areas, including mosques and shops.

He then added: “Avoiding face and nose kissing (as a form of greeting) and handshaking is more practical than using face masks and medication.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: No cases in Dhofar.

Oman’s Ministry of Health has refuted rumours that cases of the virus have appeared in Dhofar Governorate. In a statement on Twitter today the MOH said that “the Ministry wishes to confirm that this information is incorrect,” and that “all legal measures will be taken” against those promulgating rumours or false information.

Oman’s PACA has temporarily banned some flights to and from Italy

PACA announced that it has suspended Italian tourist flights to the Salalah airport for one month. starting today.

However Oman Air flights between Milan and Muscat for Omani and transit passengers are still open.

Italy now has 1,694 confirmed cases and 34 people havedied.

1300 quarantined, One patient recovers in Oman.

Around 1,320 people have been quarantined in Oman, according to the Minister of Health, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed Al Saidi, who spoke in an interview with Oman TV on Saturday.

He explained that the majority of these travelers returning to Oman from COVID-19 novel coronavirus-affected countries are quarantined in their homes, while others are in healthcare centres, and that there are hotlines set up by the Ministry of Health in every governorate for patients to report coronavirus symptoms.

“Home quarantine has proven its effectiveness in all countries,” he added. “However, people should still follow health instructions.”

In a statement released on today, the MOH has clarified that none of the people currently under quarantine have tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus — however, the quarantine measures comes as a precaution to protect their families and the larger community, should symptoms appear.

One patient recovers in Oman. A patient in Oman who had tested positive for the Coronavirus has now recovered, the Ministry of Health says. In a statement to the public, the ministry wrote:  the health of other cases are being monitored and they are in stable condition.  It added that the public should not pay attention to rumours and only rely on official sources for news.

If you’re Omani and trying to enter the UAE you will now need to present a valid passport at immigration, rather than using your national ID card. The move is to help control the spread of COVID-19.

Over 600 people stranded in Iran have now been repatriated authorities say. The process will be completed by Tuesday. In new guidance anyone who has entered Oman from Iran since February 9th is being advised to remain at home and to reach out to their nearest health centre.

Six positive cases in Oman. The Ministry of Health has revealed that two more patient in Oman has tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on Thursday. 

In a statement issued on Thursday evening, MOH said a sixth case has been reported after a person who travelled to Iran was detected with coronavirus. The patients are in a stable condition. 

It also called upon residents to avoid paying attention to rumours and relying only on official statements from the ministry.

A Muscat teacher does NOT have symptoms. Rumours spread on social media that a teacher in a school in Muscat tested positive for coronavirus are untrue.  The school has confirmed that the teacher was only suffering from an unrelated mild fever, and has been sent home.

In light of public health concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, Oman’s Ministry of Education released a statement today saying that it is following the situation closely and is in close contact with the Ministry of Health for updates to “combat any potential spread in schools” across the Sultanate. 



The statement stressed that the Ministry is “raising awareness on the importance of following healthy prevention methods in case symptoms show up in a school,” but made no mention of any plans to close schools in Oman or of any directives that would otherwise affect their operations.

SalamAir cancel flights between Oman and Bahrain.  The Sultanate’s low-cost airline, SalamAir has announced that it will be temporarily suspending operations to and from Bahrain as containment efforts against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus continue throughout the GCC. 

SalamAir say customers should contact their customer service call centre.

Bahrain has confirmed three new cases of confirmed COVID-19 coronavirus, bringing the total number of patients in the Kingdom to 26.

Saudi Arabia has temporaily suspended pilgrimages.

Saudi Arabia has introduced a temporary ban on religious visits to the country amid concerns over the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

In a public statement, the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stated that it would temporarily ban religious visits to the country for the safety of pilgrims.

This includes visits to Makkah and Madinah, said Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The country has also reportedly suspended entry for those with a tourist visa from countries with confirmed outbreaks of coronavirus.

Travel to and from the kingdom from GCC countries, using national identity cards, has also been suspended; though, Saudi nationals can return home.

A new safety video has been released by the Ministry of Health as four people test positive for coronavirus in Oman.

The animated video released by the Ministry of Health shows how just a few simple steps can help save lives and reduce the spread of infectious disease. You can view it below:

Pharmacies in Muscat report they have run out of face masks as worried customers stock up on the protective gear. To prevent shortages from happening in future the Ministry of Health has forbidden retailers from selling the items in bulk from now on.



The Minister of Health has called on the public not to panic, as two more people tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus in Oman on Tuesday bringing the number to four.   Details on the two newest patients have not yet been announced, though it is known they were also travelling back from Iran.

In other developments, citizens of Oman stranded in Iran after the suspension of all flights between the Sultanate and the Islamic Republic outbreak are to be repatriated as Soon as possible. Three rescue flights have been arranged, with the third due to leave on Friday. The cancellation of flights between the two nations was announced on Monday, in the wake of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus.



Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation announced in statement online today that the first flight would land back in Muscat on Wednesday, February 26, arriving from Kish Airport, and the other due to touch down on Friday, February 28 arriving in Muscat from Shiraz Airport.

The move to suspend all flights from Oman to Iran comes after four confirmed cases of COVID-19 novel coronavirus were diagnosed in four people in Oman who had previously returned back from Iran.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update:

More than 250 people who came from countries affected by coronavirus have been  quarantined on suspicion in a previous period, His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Saidi, Minister of Health, told Oman TV on Tuesday.

The two Omani women who earlier tested positive for the coronavirus COVID-19 are reported to be stable after returning to the Sultanate from Iran, with “minor symptoms” and their condition does not require hospital admission at this time, His Excellency said.



Also read: Oman suspends flights to Iran

Al Saidi did say, however, that authorities in Oman have identified 35 people who have been in touch with the two women and the Ministry of Health is in the process of testing all of them.

Al Saidi added that around 250 people who came to Oman from COVID-19 infected countries have been quarantined as a precautionary measure.

He also said that the ministry has allocated quarantine areas in all of the Sultanate’s governorates.

Oman’s Ministry of Health has outlined tips for precautionary measures to reduce the public’s risk of contraction or spreading of the virus, while urging residents and citizens to avoid the spread of rumours regarding information on the virus in Oman, and to only take information from official sources.

COVID-19 – Best hygiene practices:

  • Wash hands regularly with soap and water.
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Reduce or avoid handshakes or kisses on the cheek when greeting.
  • Practice healthy habits when coughing or sneezing. Ex: Sneezing/coughing into the crook of your elbow or into a tissue.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) announced Monday two positive cases of the Novel Coronavirus in Oman.

The two cases are the first to be reported in the Sultanate.

The patients are two Omani women who came back home from Iran. They are in stable condition and in quarantine, as per the MOH.

Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA) has announced that it has suspended all passenger flights between Oman and Iran.



The authority said that all flights between the two countries will be stopped starting  until further notice.

This comes after two Omani women – who flew back to the Sultanate from Iran – tested positive for the Novel Coronavirus today.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update:  The first case of COVID-19 has been detected in Bahrain with flights suspended to and from the UAE:

In other developments Bahrain has announced it is suspending all flights to and from the UAE for 48 hours following a case reported in the Kingdom. (Khaleej Times)

According to Bahrain’s Ministry of Health, the patient was a Bahraini citizen arriving from Iran.

Kuwait said three people, including a Saudi national who returned from Iran were infected by the new coronavirus, state news agency KUNA reported.

The three cases, the first in the Gulf state, were among the 700 people evacuated from the northeastern Iranian city of Mashhad last week, Reuters reports.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: New Quarantine Rules Applied.

In the latest developments, the Ministry of Health has announced  that visitors from countries in which the coronavirus has been detected will be subject to quarantine.

The statement reads: “Oman’s Ministry of Health urges the travellers coming from the countries in which the epidemic has been reported, particularly China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Iran during the past 14 days to contact the MOH Contact Centre in order to guide them with regard to the quarantine and the other precautionary measures.

“As part of the infection control procedures, the ministry indicates that it will enforce the home or institutional quarantine for the travellers coming from the above mentioned countries for a 14-day period, inclusive of China, Iran, Singapore, and South Korea.”

Regionally, cases have been found in the UAE, Egypt, Lebanon, and Iran. In a statement the MoH said however: “The Ministry would like to clarify that the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Lebanon are not among the countries from which quarantine will be applied.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Tourists visiting Oman via cruise ships will be checked for symptoms, say Marafi, a Port Operation and Management Company.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

In a Tweet, the company stated: “We would like to point out that the Ministry of Health, in coordination with Marafi, is following up on tour ships coming to ports. Marafi is coordinating with their operators, following up on the cases of all the passengers and taking the necessary measures to ensure that visitors to the Sultanate’s ports are free of disease.”

The company clarified that the ships arriving in Oman are affiliated with major international companies that are not linked to trips to/from China or its neighbouring nations.

It added that companies and ports have increased their procedures for inspection and examination of all passengers prior to boarding, as well as during their presence on the vessel, and before they disembark.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Ministry of Health has warned to watch for false media reports. This comes after rumours of seven residents testing positive for the virus came to light on social media platforms. The ministry has assured it is fake news.

A tweet by the MoH today reads: “The Ministry urges everyone to consult the official sources and not paying attention to the rumors,” it added, before stating that legal measures will be taken against those publishing rumours.

In the UAE, The Ministry of Health and Prevention revealed on Monday that a patient diagnosed in the country with the Novel Coronavirus has now made a full recovery.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

In a statement issued on Sunday, Oman’s Ministry of Health reaffirmed the readiness of its health institutions to tackle any cases that enter the Sultanate by implementing preparedness plans and activating procedures.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Consulate in Singapore has called on Omani citizens visiting the Asian country to exercise caution and avoid crowded places. It also called for wearing face masks all the time while in Singapore.

Singapore has raised its coronavirus alert level and reported more cases not linked to previous infections or travel to China. It comes as the death toll from the coronavirus was reported now to be higher than that of the SARS epidemic in 2003. 

Oman has confirmed that a ‘majority’ of Omani students studying in China have returned back to Oman.

In a tweet, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said: “The Sultanate’s embassy in Beijing confirms the return of most Omani students studying in China, and the embassy is in contact with the rest of them to secure their return.”

COVID-19 Coronavirus update

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: False rumours circulating.

Oman’s Ministry of Health says rumors  circulating on WhatsApp about a case of coronavirus found in Al Mawaleh Health Centre are untrue.

It added that legal actions will be taken on those who createed the fake news, and called people to follow official channels before reshaping any content.

Parents Not Allowed To Enter Nurseries.

Oman’s Ministry of Social Development has called on nurseries to take preventive measures so that children are safe from the coronavirus.

In a statement the Ministry said: “Parents have been requested to refrain from entering nursery buildings. They are only allowed to pick up and drop their children from the outside.

“We also ask parents not to bring children to nurseries in case they have symptoms such as an increase in temperature, chest congestion, difficulty in breathing, and cold.

The Ministry has also asked nurseries to provide sanitising equipment to children and staff; and to refrain from enrolling children who have visited the countries affected by the virus any time in the last six months.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman is ready, say authorities.

The Sultanate of Oman is prepared to face any form of emergency caused by the novel coronavirus, the Ministry of Health (MoH) stated on Wednesday.

This statement comes after a second meeting that was chaired to discuss the precautionary means set in place to tackle the disease. 

According to  Al Wisal Radio, precautionary measures set by the Sultanate were discussed along  with contingency plans across land, sea and air channels.

Also stressed was the need for readiness of public health plans across all Governorates and coordination between all health agencies at a local level.

His Excellency Dr. Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Obaid Al-Saeedi, the Minister of Health, was quoted as saying: “The Ministry of Health has activated health emergency plans since the announcement of this virus, and coordination has been made with all partners on preparedness, including those involved in border crossings.”

“There is also continuous coordination and cooperation between the Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization, and the Health Ministers’ Council for GCC States,” he added.

In other Coronavirus updates:

The UAE has confirmed five cases of the coronavirus in the Emirates, according to the country’s official news agency.

COVID-19 Coronavirus update: Oman’s Airport Authority has released new travel advice.

The UAE Ministry of Health and Community Protection says the virus was identified among members of a family returning from Wuhan, China to the UAE. The ministry added that, currently, the family’s health is stable and that those members who are infected are under medical observation.

In the Sultanate, Oman Airports company has issued a statement for travelers on taking precautionary measures against the Novel Coronavirus while passing through airports.

A tweet by the airport management company stated: “Please take necessary precautions and follow the safety instructions below when traveling and passing through airports.

“May Allah protect you from all harm.”

The travel advice reads:

– Avoid traveling to affected areas unless necessary
– Make sure you have all necessary vaccinations and travel medications
– Seek advice from your healthcare provider
– Don’t travel if you have fever and cough
– If you become sick while traveling, seek medical help immediately

Oman’s Ministry of Health earlier released a statement that no cases of the Novel Coronavirus (nCoV) have yet been reported in Oman.

So far, no Omani students who are currently residing in China have been infected with coronavirus, the Sultanate’s embassy in Beijing confirmed on Sunday.

What are Coronaviruses?

Coronavirus is a common virus family known to cause a range of diseases ranging from common colds to severe pneumonia.

What is the Novel (new) Coronavirus?

This virus is a new type of Coronavirus that has not previously been found in humans. The new virus [was first found] in the People’s Republic of China and is called 2019-nCoV. Other known types of Coronaviruses include MERS- Coronavirus and SARS-Coronavirus.

What is the current situation of the new Coronavirus (2019- nCOV)?

The first case of this virus was reported on December 31 , 2019 in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, People’s Republic of China. As of January 26, 2020, more than 2,000 cases have been reported in Wuhan city and other cities in China. In addition cases were reported outside China in Thailand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Macao, Philippines, and the United States. With 17 deaths recorded in Wuhan City (as of 23rd January).
(Please keep following the updates as it become available). All cases outside China has been infected in China.

Can humans be infected with a new coronavirus from an animal source?

Yes, evidence has shown that the new coronavirus infection is caused by contact with animals infected with the virus. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing to identify the animal carrier of the new Coronavirus in China.

What are the symptoms of the new (2019-nCoV)?

The most common symptoms include: fever, cough, shortness of breath and difficulty of breathing. In the most severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and even death.

Can the new (2019-nCoV) be transmitted from one person to another?

Yes, the transmission of the new Coronavirus from one person to another has been reported and is expected. It probably happens by close contact with an infected person, such as in the context of family, workplace or health-care centers. Also by exposure to surfaces contaminated by the secretion of the infected person.

Are health care workers at risk of contracting the new Coronavirus?

Yes, transmissions of infection have been recorded among health care workers because they are more close to patients than the general public. Health care workers are recommended to use appropriate personal infection prevention and control measures.

Is there a vaccine against the new Coronavirus?

No, there is no vaccine. When a new disease appears, no vaccine is available unless it is first manufactured. It may take several years before a vaccine against the virus can be made.

Is there a cure for the new Coronavirus?

There is no specific treatment for the disease caused by the new Coronavirus. However, many of its symptoms can be treated, so treatment depends on the patient’s clinical condition. Supportive care for people infected can be very effective.

What can be done to protect against the new Coronavirus?

To reduce risk and prevent the new Corona virus infection, please apply the following procedures:
– Avoid direct contact with animals (live or dead) or presence in animal trading markets in China.
– Avoid direct contact with anyone with symptoms of a cold or respiratory infection.
– Cover nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing with tissue or flexed elbow.
– Wash your hands with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand rub.
– Make sure that animal products are cooked well before eating them.
For travelers to areas where the new Coronavirus has appeared, follow the above precautions. In addition, stay at home and avoid crowded places as much as possible, using a mask when in a crowded place, and go to the nearest healthcare institution in case of presence of any of the symptoms mentioned.
For those coming from the People’s Republic of China within the past 14 days or if you are in direct contact with a person who has visited China and suffer from chest infection and you have the following symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, diarrhea or vomiting), please visit the airport health control clinic directly or visit the nearest health center while you are in Oman and report your travel history.

Where can I get more information about the new Coronavirus?

For more information on the new Coronavirus (2019 n-COV), please contact the call center on 24441999 and follow information from the Ministry of Health cited in the national press.

The ministry has also opened a call center hotline (24441999) for any inquiries.

You can read more here.