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UAE and Oman border - at the Ras Al Darah checkpoint in the UAE. Image Credit:

Dubai: Oman's Supreme Committee tasked with tackling COVID-19 decided on Sunday to close the Sultanate’s land ports for one week starting from January 18, local media reported.

In a statement, the committee said the land ports will be closed from 6pm on Monday after “the specialized technical team reported the spread of the new highly contagious strain of the coronavirus.”

The committee affirmed that the Sultanate’s competent authorities are closely following up on the violations of COVID-19 precautions, adding that violators will be punished. It added that a growing number of citizens and residents are not strictly adhering to the approved precautionary measures, especially not wearing facemasks and holding gatherings with large numbers of participants, which may cause an outbreak of the virus in the community.

Earlier in the day, Oman’s Ministry of Health reported 526 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total number of cases registered in the Sultanate to 131,790.

The ministry reported three COVID-19-related death, keeping the total death toll at 1,512.

The total recovery cases reached 124,067, or 94.1 percent of the total cases reported.

Thirteen patients were hospitalized during the past 24 hours, taking the total number of inpatients in hospitals to 69, including 21 in Intensive Care Units (ICUs).