More commercial outlets may open this week

Muscat: More commercial activities will open in the coming days after many sectors were given nod to operate in the past weeks and lockdown eased in major wilayats in the capital area, according to Ahmed bin Abdullah al Shuhi, Minister of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources.

He said the two packages announced earlier had addressed the Supreme Committee regulations on conducting business safely with strict adherence to the health instructions.

“Activities that were opened in two packages constituted 70 per cent, and the third package will be announced. Businesses included in the first two packages have been found to be adhering to safety instructions of the Supreme Committee,” the Minister said. He said as many as 9,088 violations were reported when the first and second packages opened.

The minister was categorical about barbershops and beauty salons that they were not allowed to open now because they posed risk of transmitting the virus.

“Whoever renewed their contracts and paid the fines, the amount will be carried over to the next year or the next contract period and there will not be any fines for delaying the renewal of contracts during the COVID-19 period,” he said.

He further said that the “third package approved by the technical committee is an ambitious package.”

“However, the new package will not include the reopening of wedding halls, beauty salons, and recreational activities in view of safety of public health.”

Meanwhile, Mini Padikkal, clinical dietician and health practitioner with NMC shares some precautionary measures before, during and after shopping:

1) It’s better to do E-shopping to avoid contact and touch. It is better to pay via credit card as much as possible.

2) It is time for health care and secure shopping. While health shopping is focuses on healthy food, secure shopping is about taking precautionary measures against infection. These two are applicable to the payment method, dealing with procurement and shopping cart, as well as maintaining social distancing.

3) If you’re visiting a shopping mall, make sure to disinfect your hands and shopping cart and do not touch items that are not in shopping list.

4) Keep own shopping bags and fill the bag with your stuff, so that the seller need not touch the bag and risk infection.

5) Make it a point to wash your hands thoroughly with water and soap before and after shopping.

6) Crowded places are always risky. Avoid shopping at the crowded places.

7) It is advised to assign one member of family for shopping. Elder people, pregnant and children should be exempted from going to shop.

8) Make it a point to ask the cashier to sterilise hands after accounting each customer.

9) Wash your hands with water and soap before opening the bags after you arrived at the house from shopping.

10) Make sure not to put the same hands that have touched the shopping bags from outside to inside but flip the bag upside-down to display the items on a clean surface. Disinfect the shopping bags immediately and wash your hands afterward.

11) Wash the tinned products such as beans and others before storing them in the kitchen and keep kitchen utensils clean.

12) Wash raw fruits and vegetables under running water only. Brush can be used to clean them and they should be refrigerated under low temperatures.