Oman imposes night-time Ramadan lockdown as Covid-19 cases surge
Oman’s Supreme Committee, which was created to respond to the pandemic, has banned all forms of gatherings, including at mosques, tents, restaurants or popular public places during Ramadan between the hours of from 9pm until 4am.
The hours between iftar, the time of the fast's end, and suhoor, the pre-dawn meal, are generally used as hours for socialising in many Muslim majority countries during Ramadan.
Pharmacies are exempt from the ban.
The Sultanate has also banned all social, sports and cultural activities and any other group activities throughout Ramadan.
Key workers in the oil, healthcare, utilities, food supply and media sectors were exempted from the movement ban, provided they have permissions.
The new measures came after Oman declared that it is running out of resources to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, with just 14 beds left for patients in intensive care units (ICU).
On Monday, Times of Oman reported that 96 percent of all ICU beds are taken by Covid-19 patients.
The increase in virus cases has forced all hospitals to postpone essential and non-essential surgical procedures, the report added.
Oman’s health ministry reported 1,335 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, raising the overall number of confirmed cases to 175,633.