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Posted On: 26 March 2020 09:28 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 09:12 am

Zero tolerance with prevention of infectious diseases law violators, visit visa extension, increase in patrols

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A press conference was held Thursday headed H.E. Lolwa Bint Rashid Al Khater, Spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management, on the latest developments and prudential decisions taken by the State of Qatar to combat the coronavirus.

Law amending provisions of Decree-Law No.17 of 1990 on the prevention of infectious diseases

The Supreme Committee for Crisis Management said that there will be zero tolerance with violators of the law issued by HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani amending some of the provisions of the Decree-Law No 17 of 1990 on the prevention of infectious diseases. The committee stressed that there will be no compromise in applying the law and related procedures to all violators.

H.H. the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued Thursday a decision amending some of the provisions of the Decree-Law No 17 of 1990 on the prevention of infectious diseases.

Under the law, the provisions of articles 4 will provide for that the burden of reporting stipulated in the previous article falls on every doctor who examines someone who is infected or suspected of having an infectious disease; the infected person and their guardian, the president or representative of the infected person's university, institute or school, infected person's direct manager -if the infection took place or suspected to have taken place during performing work duties-, and on the employer, in case of expatriates, whether the infection took place inside or outside the state; when any of them knows about it.

Article (6-bis) which stipulates that every person who is placed in isolation or quarantine, with the knowledge of the health authorities, according to the provisions of the previous article, must remain in the place of isolation designated by that authority and abide by the procedures for isolation and control.

Article 10 stipulates that the Council of Ministers, to limit the spread of the infectious disease, may take appropriate public measures to preserve public health, including imposing restrictions on the freedom of persons to gather, move, reside and pass in certain places or times.

The provisions of articles 21 provides for that, without prejudice to any more severe punishment stipulated in any other law, including the procedures and measures taken by the Council of Ministers in accordance with the provisions of Article, any violation is punishable by imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years and a fine not exceeding QAR 200,000 or by either of these two penalties.


H.E. Spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management Lolwah bint Rashid bin Mohammed Al Khater thanked the security authorities represented by the Ministry of Interior and the Internal Security Forces (Lekhwiya), which spared no effort in implementing all these laws and measures.

Her Excellency pointed out that the Attorney General of the State of Qatar had issued a decision to establish a health prosecution specialized in investigating all health-related crimes.

She praised the efforts of doctors, medical staff and officials of the Ministry of Public Health, who are the first line of defense for our society in this crisis, and who work around the clock to ensure the provision of high-quality medical services, stressing that they are the soldiers who defend us in this crisis.

H.E. Spokesperson for the Supreme Committee for Crisis Management Lolwah bint Rashid bin Mohammed Al Khater said that the committee understands that the changes in the lives of all people have caused some confusion and anxiety, some fear and anticipation of the future while stressing at the same time that staying at home and applying prevention measures are the most valuable services that can be provided to our community and our nation during this crisis.

She stressed that the more everyone adhered to instructions, the shorter the time will be while cautioning against negligence that can prolong this period.

She also affirmed that all the bodies and institutions of the State of Qatar are being harnessed to ensure the continuation of a decent life for all.

Ministry of Interior

Director of the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior Brigadier Abdullah Khalifa Al Muftah said that the violator of the quarantine requirements is referred to the Health Prosecution, which was established by the decision of the Attorney-General No. 46 of 2020, which is concerned with investigating of all health-related crimes, then the prosecution issues a decision to detain him for 14 days, after which he is brought before the Health Prosecution to take the necessary measures against him.

Regarding gatherings in private places, Brigadier Al Muftah explained that police patrols are deployed throughout the country to monitor the implementation of the decision to prevent gatherings in public areas, beaches, prayer halls, mosques, and other public places, as well as social events, weddings, and solace, where a record of the incident will be issued and the violators will be transferred to the Public Prosecution. He called on citizens and residents to abide by this decision to preserve their health and of others.

Concerning the situation of visitors in the country whose visas are nearing completion and cannot return to their country, Director of the Public Relations Department at the Ministry of Interior confirmed that it was decided to extend the immediate or pre-entry visas for a month after the end of the legal period specified for each one, where the extension will be made electronically through the Ministry's website and Metrash2 without the need to review the General Directorate of Passports or its service departments.

According to the Ministry of Interior, both on-arrival and visit visas can be extended for one month after the expiration date electronically through MOI Website or #Metrash2 without visiting the General Directorate of Passports or MOI Service Centres.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry

Furthermore, Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Saleh Al Khulaifi reviewed the mechanisms for applying the decision to close some of the stores that were issued today and the sectors covered by it, pointing out that the decision aims to reduce the spread of the disease, especially since most of the activities that were closed are not vital and have direct contact between the "employee and customer".

He added that the working hours of the stores, that were not mentioned, were specified from 6 am until 7 pm, and that excluding vital activities such as infrastructure, electricity, water, and communications services. Logistics delivery services for hypermarkets and pharmacies or delivery services from restaurants were kept as usual.

Al Khulaifi added that the Ministry has set strict requirements to be applied to food delivery companies and met with all the delivery through online application companies and explained to them these procedures to keep life normal with the application of the highest health and safety standards. He pointed out that the Ministry's inspectors are carrying out periodic campaigns at the stores to ensure their commitment to these conditions.

Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry explained that it has been coordinated with the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs to reduce the number of service centers and educate citizens to use online services, noting that the centers that are in service follow preventive measures such as the system of expanding distances between clients and employees.

Al Khulaifi added that the Ministry also issued regulatory decisions based on the Consumer Protection Law regulating shopping in commercial stores where safe distances should be kept "one and a half meters" between customers and the specialized employee and organizing customer entry and exit according to the capacity of each store to avoid crowding, praising the role of the private sector, which was keen on putting awareness and organizational posters.

Regarding the closure of the money exchange offices, Al Khulaifi pointed out that these offices are crowded with people during this time of every month, adding the relevant authorities have coordinated with each other by activating online transfers instead of going to exchange offices and exposing their lives to danger. He stated that the state has implemented a system of workers' wages protection, according to which their salaries are transferred to their bank accounts through which they can transfer money to their country easily. As for domestic workers, the Assistant Undersecretary called on the head of the family to help them transfer money on their behalf using online services.

He stressed that the local transfer fees for online services have been canceled, which encourages people to use these programs for transfers. For transfers abroad, the state has taken all measures to facilitate it, especially in these circumstances, he explained.

Ministry of Public Health

Chair of the Infectious Diseases Division and the Communicable Diseases at Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal divided the infected persons with Coronavirus (Covid-19), into three groups: the first group is for cases with mild or no symptoms and they are isolated so that the virus does not spread to other individuals and these are monitored by the medical and nursing staff until the recovery phase is complete, where periodic laboratory tests are performed and often after two to three weeks, the tests become negative.

The second group is for severe cases, which often have inflammation of the lower respiratory tract (lungs) and are isolated and hospitalized and given a set of drugs to reduce the severity of inflammation.

The third group is for those who need intensive care, and they will be given a larger set of drugs and put on a ventilator for several days to help their immune system to overcome the virus, and then gradual improvement will be noticed, Al Khal pointed out.

Dr. Al Khal confirmed that there is no scientific evidence that taking medications used in hospitals prevents infection with the virus, advising to avoid such drugs because of their side effects.

He stressed the importance of social distancing between members of society even in the same house and that each individual is obligated to stay in his room as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus in the community, noting that the State has played its full role in providing all conditions, taking all decisions, applying all procedures, and publishing all instructions to reduce gatherings and limit the spread of the disease.

He noted that most of the diagnosed cases are still subject to isolation and treatment, the majority of cases are between the 20s to 40s, and 18 people are in intensive care.

Dr. Al Khal expressed his concern over the potential increase of cases who need intensive care, especially those who suffer from diabetes, heart, kidney, and lung diseases, and those who take immunosuppressive drugs and the elderly, stressing the need to protect this group and advised them to stay at home.

Dr. Al Khal emphasized that there is no relation between infection with the virus and age, as the disease may be severe for youth as well.

As for the signs of recovery, he explained that for those with severe symptoms, the signs of recovery are low temperature, less coughing, easier to breathe, and a laboratory examination of respiratory secretions has shifted from positive to negative.

Source: Government Communications Office, Ministry of Interior, Qatar News Agency