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Posted On: 3 February 2021 10:20 pm
Updated On: 3 February 2021 10:54 pm

Qatar to reimpose COVID-19 restrictions in 4 levels to curb possible second wave and new strain

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The plan to re-impose restrictions due to the Corona pandemic (Covid-19) was talked about in a joint press conference held Wednesday night by the Ministry of Public Health, Ministry of Interior, and Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Ministry of Public Health (Dr. Abdul Latif Al-Khal):

COVID-19 Second wave and new strain

  • Recently, a remarkable increase and an accelerated pace have been recorded in the number of infections, the reproductive factor of the virus, and daily hospital admissions. This could be an early indicator of a possible second wave of the epidemic in the country.
  • Over the past months, we were able to flatten the curve of virus infection, significantly reducing its spread among community members, and maintaining a low rate of injuries and deaths.
  • There are currently more than 5,700 active cases of the virus in Qatar, of which 481 are hospitalized cases and 55 critical cases are in intensive care. Most of the infections are attributed to mixing in private places, visits, and family events
  • It is not clear the size of the second wave, but taking precautionary decisions and community cooperation will curb the intensity of this wave.
  • Coronavirus is constantly mutating during its transmission from one person to another, which leads to new strains, as two new strains were detected in the UK and South Africa and it has certainly reached the Gulf countries.
  • It is very likely that the new strains of Corona will arrive in Qatar, and following the precautionary measures is more important than ever.


4-level plan

  • The Ministry of Health adopts 6 indicators to measure the extent of the virus spread and take appropriate decisions. According to the indicators, 4 levels of re-imposition of restrictions will be applied.
  • Imposing restrictions is a preemptive step to prevent a second wave and prevent the spread of the new strain in the State of Qatar
  • The plan can be applied to all regions of the State of Qatar or on a specific area. Some restrictions can be selected over others for each level.
  • Levels of the reimposition of restrictions
    • Current status: Reviewed every 3 weeks
    • Level 1: Restrictions on high-risk activities
    • Level 2: For moderate to high-risk activities if the infection prevalence has not decreased
    • Level 3: Further restrictions
    • Level 4: Complete lockdown
  • It was decided to apply most of the restrictions from the second level of the plan, with some exceptions.
  • Though a limited number of cases of Covid-19 have been spotted at schools, most of these came from outside the schools. So, it has been decided to maintain the current system at school attendance.
  • The government of the State of Qatar aims to maintain the educational process without exposing society to danger, and the Ministry of Public Health, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, will closely monitor the situation in schools and take the appropriate decision.
  • We expect an increase in infections over the coming weeks so we have to be more careful. Wear face masks all the time outside the house, maintain social distancing, and avoid crowds. For the elderly and those with chronic diseases limit your going out of home
  • Although the vaccine is effective against the virus, precautionary measures are now more important than ever, even if the vaccine is taken.
  • The new restrictions package will be implemented starting tomorrow, Thursday.

Ministry of Interior (Brigadier General Abdullah Khalifa Al Muftah):

  • More police patrols on roads and neighborhoods to catch people violating precautionary measures. Mobile and foot patrols will be intensified in residential and commercial areas to arrest violators.
  • The total number of violators of the precautionary measures reached 14513, including nearly 10,000 violators in the past three months only. In January, more than 4000 were spotted.
  • An application must be submitted to hold weddings as of next Sunday, according to the terms of holding events.
  • The Information Systems Department in the Ministry of Interior will work during the coming period to provide an application for the holding of weddings through the application of "Metrash 2". This service will be announced as soon as it becomes available in the application
  • Precautionary measures, including wearing a mask, are obligatory for everyone, even those who have taken the vaccine are obligated to wear masks, social distancing, and keep the application of precaution in the operating position.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry (H.E. Mr. Saleh bin Majid Al-Khulaifi):

  • The seating capacity will be reduced in many activities, especially in crowded places such as malls and restaurants. Visits will be conducted to the restaurants and cafes to assess their compliance and accordingly increase the possible number.
  • MoCI inspectors will closely monitor the commitment of service providers and shopping malls and outlets for such precautionary preventive measures.
  • You can obtain the "Clean Qatar" program by applying through the program's website and completing the procedures
  • We urge the shops to increase e-commerce services as much as possible and support companies in completing this vital phase.
  • We remind companies in the private sector to adhere to the precautionary measures to avoid the application of any penalties, fines, and any closure of their activities.

Last Thursday, senior health officials held a press conference regarding the increase in new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Qatar. The concerned authorities have since continuously reminded the public to abide by the precautionary measures to prevent a second wave of the pandemic.

Source: Supreme Committee for Crisis Management press conference via Qatar Television

Image credits: Qatar Television