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Before the discovery of oil, Muttrah was the centre of commerce in Oman. It is still a centre of commerce as one of the largest sea ports of the region is located there. Image Credit:

Cairo: Omani authorities Wednesday placed the province of Muttrah under total health isolation as part of precautions against the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Royal Oman Police said.

The isolation went into effect as of Wednesday until further notice, Omani newspaper Al Watan reported, citing police.

Roads to the province have been closed. Entry of trucks, supplies and medical services to the province will be facilitated, the police added.

The step was taken shortly after the Omani Health Ministry announced 18 new cases of the novel coronavirus, raising to 210 its total infections.

Oman announced its first death from Covid-19 on Tuesday. The fatality was a 72-year-old Omani man, the official news agency ONA reported.

Omani authorities have taken a raft of precautions aimed at limiting the spread of the highly infectious virus in the country. They include suspending flights, stopping the issuance of tourist visas and banning public gatherings.