Qatar has announced stringent restrictions pertaining to Covid-19 amidst concerns about growing number of cases in the past weeks.
The measures have been announced in a cabinet statement, and will get effective from 9th April, as the country battles the surge in fresh Covid-19 infections.
The country reported 940 fresh cases on Wednesday, which took the total number of positive cases to over 186,000 since the start of the pandemic.
The spread of coronavirus variants that were identified in the South Africa and UK has now contributed to the spread of Covid-19, as mentioned by Abdullatif Al Khal, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Hamad Medical Corporation.
- Apart from closure of gyms, water parks, swimming pools and spas, the new guidelines emphasize on closure of cinemas, museums, libraries and nurseries.
- Restaurants and cafes will no longer be allowed to serve food indoors or in open-air spaces.
- Public gatherings at beaches and parts are banned, although individual sport activities like running or cycling are allowed.
- Social gatherings are also not allowed at homes or other closed spaces. Nearly five vaccinated people can meet up in open spaces.
- As per fresh guidelines, public and private workspaces will operate at no more than 50 percent capacity, while the rest of the staff should work from home.
- Mosques can remain open for prayers, while the special Tarawih prayers that are performed during the holy month of Ramadan should be done only at home.
Speaking at a press conference, Al Khal mentioned that Qatar is facing a second wave. He further said that the country is facing rapid increase in daily infections, including acute infections requiring hospital admissions and admission to the ICUs over the past two weeks.
The move, which aims to tighten restrictions came after the recent call by a Qatari health official for a complete nationwide lockdown to control the spread of the virus.
Meanwhile, Qatar continues to report an increase in number of infections on a daily basis, despite imposing the series of coronavirus-related restrictions on education, business activities and leisure, including closure of gymnasiums and restricting restaurant capacity.
In February, the authorities announced a 32-point plan to stop the surge in cases, which led to fear of a second wave of infections.