RIYADH: Oman’s borders will be closed “until further notice” due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, local daily Times of Oman reported on Sunday.
The Supreme Committee tasked with tackling the COVID-19 pandemic said the increase in cases was “alarming,” the report said.
The announcement came after the committee studied a report produced by a technical team who specialised in the spread of the virus and its different variants. The report pointed to an increase in the number of patients contracting the disease.
Oman, who previously saw cases drop below 500, has now recorded more than 600 cases on Sunday with a total of 135,674 cases.
The closure initially came into effect on Jan. 18 following Oman’s detection of its first case of the variant of the virus that emerged in Britain, in a resident who arrived from the UK. The closure was set to last one week, but the authorities warned of possible extensions.
Oman’s University of Nizwa, in cooperation with the health ministry, detected a rare strain of the COVID-19 virus in early February.
The Committee, however, decided to allow entry via land borders for Omani citizens abroad wishing to return provided they follow a seven-day institutional health quarantine.
Oman’s Ministry of Health will also start inoculating citizens aged over 65 years after receiving a total of 100,000 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine from India’s Serum Institute last week.