Atlantic Council praises Oman’s strategy to combat Covid-19

WASHINGTON: The Atlantic Council (https://www.atlanticcouncil.org/) has praised the strategy devised by the Supreme Committee on Covid-19 as impressive.

It added, “Oman appears to be managing the spread of coronavirus effectively, so far at least with the lowest numbers of deaths and infected persons in the Gulf.”

An article by Marc J. Sievers who served as the US ambassador to the Sultanate from January 2016 to December 2019, for the Atlantic Council said, “On March 26, His Majesty Sultan Haitham bin Tarik chaired a session of the Supreme Committee and then announced a personal donation of about $26 million.

In the same vein, Oman’s largest banks have established mechanisms for private donations to the health ministry’s efforts and several banks made their own donations. The Central Bank has also announced funds to shore up the banking sector and the government announced an array of measures to reduce the burden on businesses, including deferment of municipal taxes and rents for factories in industrial zones among other measures.”

On Oman’s handling of the coronavirus, the article said, “On April 1, the Supreme Committee and Royal Oman Police (ROP) announced the establishment of checkpoints on roads connecting Oman’s governorates. The checkpoints are manned jointly by the police and the army who are enforcing instructions to limit ground travel between regions to emergency personnel and those transporting necessities such as food.”

The Royal Oman Police (ROP) also reported that several citizens had been called in for questioning and possible prosecution for spreading false information through social media accounts.

The Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) has now conducted two special flights of transport aircraft to China to bring back medical supplies and equipment, with the second flight heavily covered in state media.

Testing for Covid-19 is also ramping up, and the controls imposed between regions and the sustained messaging of the public to stay home and maintain social distancing are also likely to produce positive results, especially since over half the number of total cases are within the greater Muscat area, the article concluded. ONA

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