Muscat: With the restrictions coming into force, movement of both people and vehicles in the capital city came to a halt from the very wee hours on Wednesday.
The wilayat of Muttrah has almost been isolated from other parts of the city.
Except for people associated with emergency services like health and other basic services, entry and exit of people were stopped at different places including Hamriya, Darsait, Wadi Kabeer, Muttrah and Al Bustan.
Long lines of vehicles were seen from the early hours at different checkpoints set up by the authorities in line with the decisions of the Supreme Committee tasked with the mechanism to combat the novel coronavirus COVID-19.
Motorists told our correspondent Kabeer Yousuf on the ground that they are stuck on the road for hours due to sudden road restrictions on movement in some parts of the Muscat.
“I was stopped at Hamriya roundabout on my way to hospital where my mother is admitted. The officials asked for documents to prove my claim. As I did not have any proof I had to return home”, said Sudeer, an expatriate.
Trucks, vehicles carrying food stuff, fuel, medical supplies are exempted from the Muttrah blockade.
According to a statement from the Royal Oman Police, the restrictions in the wilayat will continue till further orders.
“It is isolation as part of containing the COVID-19 contagion”, said the statement.
Commandoes from the Sultan’s Armed Forces and ROP, who were manning the checkpoints, however, allowed both entry and exit of people who had documents including identity and resident cards.
The officials were also seen advising people to stay at homes and cooperate with the authorities concerned to combat the dreaded virus.
At the time of filing this report, most streets and thoroughfares in the city wore a deserted look with vehicles and people going off the roads.
“I was under the impression that restriction on the movement of people is applicable only between the governorates. But it is total ban”, said Joice Jacob, who was stopped at Hamriya and sent back to his residence.