Thursday, January 20
02:37 AM

Is the curve flattening?


With authorities reopening almost all businesses and leisure activities, is this an indication of the sultanate beginning to see the COVID-19 curve flatten? Yes, indeed, if the steadily decreasing number of new COVID-19 cases reported is taken into account. 

On Tuesday, the government announced the reopening of the seventh package of activities, including cinema halls, wedding halls with no more than 50 people, sports activities without an audience, bowling centres as well as resorts, parks and beaches.

In another major relief to parents, children below 12 can now enter malls. ‘Other activities include opening of food courts, play areas and amusement centres at malls, exhibitions and conferences, health clubs, beauty salons, trial rooms, and kindergarten and nurseries,’ a government statement said.

The government also announced the reopening of retail activities at central vegetable markets, camping material rental shops, rehabilitation centres and tourist sites – museums, forts and castles.

News of the reopening of these activities came as Oman’s daily COVID-19 recoveries outpaced the number of new infections, with less than 300 daily cases being reported for the past three straight weeks.

According to the Ministry of Health (MoH), a total 115,441 COVID-19 patients had recovered as against a total of 123,908 cases at the end of November, accounting for only 6,828 active cases.

On Tuesday, MoH announced 209 new cases, taking the total to 123,908. There were seven deaths and 225 recoveries in the same period. ‘The number of recoveries has increased to 115,441, while the number of deaths is 1,430,’ an MoH statement said. 

According to data issued by the MoH, there is also a decrease in the number of patients admitted in hospitals and intensive care units. As of Tuesday, a total of 199 patients were admitted in health institutions, including 105 in ICUs.

Resumption of these activities was much awaited by the businesses, citizens and residents alike who want life to return to the ‘new normal’ even as MoH calls upon all to adhere to precautionary measures like social distancing, wearing masks and washing hands regularly to curb the spread of the virus as Oman, and the rest of the world, await a vaccine.

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