Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 6 August 2020

CORONAVIRUS

Oman extends restrictions in popular tourist region Dhofar

The number of infected people in the country has passed 40,000

The Dhofar Mountains shrouded in mist at the Al Mughsayl blowholes, west of Salalah, Oman. Stephen Lock for The National
The Dhofar Mountains shrouded in mist at the Al Mughsayl blowholes, west of Salalah, Oman. Stephen Lock for The National

Oman has extended the lockdown in the southern region of Dhofar, a region popular with GCC tourists escaping the summer heat.

The lockdown in Dhofar was due to be lifted on July 3, but the Supreme Committee for Covid-19 on Wednesday announced a two-week extension, until July 17.

“The Committee followed up with great concern the epidemiological indicators of Covid-19 for the spate of new cases of infection, particularly among citizens, a considerable rise in intensive care cases and high rate of mortality,” the statement from the committee said.

The number of infected people in the country has crossed the 40,000 mark.

Oman also extended the lockdown to the Masirah Island in the central coast of Oman.

Tourism experts say Masirah and Dhofar are the biggest tourist attractions in the country and the lockdown extension to both areas would continue to hurt hotels and tour operators.

“At this time of the year, Dhofar and Masirah normally receive between 150,000 and 200,000 domestic tourists because it is cooler there in the summer. The hotels and tour operators in these two areas are going to miss a lot of income which is much needed to keep them afloat,” Yakoub Mirza, a domestic tourism analyst, said.

On Wednesday, the Health Ministry reported 1,124 new infections, 114 more than the previous day. The total number of people infected is now 41,194.

The Health Ministry also said nine people died on Wednesday, taking the total number of deaths to 185.

Oman tested 3,533 people in the past 24 hours and 24,162 people have recovered from the virus.

Currently, a total of 426 patients suffering from the virus are in hospitals, of whom 120 are in intensive care, the ministry of health said.

Updated: July 1, 2020 10:26 PM

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