News Alerts

23 Apr 2020 | 09:54 AM UTC

Qatar: Face masks required for several sectors and public spaces April 22 /update 17

Qatar News Alert

Qatari authorities make face masks compulsory for employees of select sectors and in some public spaces on April 22; follow authority directives

TIMEFRAME expected from 4/23/2020, 12:00 AM until 5/23/2020, 11:59 PM (Asia/Qatar). COUNTRY/REGION Qatar

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Event

On Wednesday, April 22, Qatari authorities announced that face masks are compulsory for employees of select sectors and in some public spaces beginning Sunday, April 26, in efforts to curb the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Those affected include public and private sector employees, clients, those shopping at food and catering stores, and contracting staff. Those that fail to comply with the measures will be sanctioned, either with a maximum of three days in prison and/or a fine of QR 200,000 (USD 54).

Qatari authorities announced the suspension of commercial activity on Fridays and Saturdays beginning Friday, April 10, with the exception of food and catering services, pharmacies, and restaurant serving take-out orders. The measure, which seeks to curb the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the country, will remain in place until further notice. Stay-at-home advisories remain in place.

The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management announced the extension to a partial closure of the Industrial Area in Doha on Wednesday, April 1. The suspension of flights at Doha's Hamad International Airport (DOH) has also been extended until further notice. Exceptions will be made for food and medical cargo. Gyms, including those at hotels, are closed. A ban on the entry of foreign nationals remains in place, as of Tuesday, March 17. All returning nationals will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days. 

As of Thursday, April 23, there are 7141 COVID-19 cases in the country including ten deaths. Further international spread of the virus is expected over the near term.

Context

The first case of COVID-19 was reported on December 31 and the source of the outbreak has been linked to a wet market in Wuhan (Hubei province, China). Human-to-human and patient-to-medical staff transmission of the virus have been confirmed. Many of the associated fatalities have been due to pneumonia caused by the virus.

Cases of the virus have been confirmed in numerous countries and territories worldwide. Virus-screening and quarantining measures are being implemented at airports worldwide, as well as extensive travel restrictions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) labelled the outbreak as pandemic.

Pneumonia symptoms include dry cough, chest pain, fever, and labored breathing. Pneumonia can be contagious and can be transmitted from human to human. The influenza virus, or the flu, is a common cause of viral pneumonia.

Advice

The measures adopted by local authorities are evolving fluidly, and are usually effective immediately. Authorities are likely to modify - at very short notice - the list of countries subject to border control measures on arrival to the territory. Potentially impacted travelers are advised to monitor the situation, confirm travel itineraries, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, travelers are advised to abide by the following measures:

  • Frequently clean hands by applying an alcohol-based hand rub or washing with soap and water.
  • When coughing and sneezing, cover mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue; if used, throw the tissue away immediately and wash hands.
  • If experiencing a fever, cough, difficulty breathing, or any other symptoms suggestive of respiratory illness, including pneumonia, call emergency services before going to the doctor or hospital to prevent the potential spread of the virus.

 

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