“No country should assume it won’t get cases. That could be a fatal mistake. This virus does not respect borders,” a top official from the World Health Organization (WHO) warned nations emphasizing the need to prepare for COVID-19. In this context, we can say Qatar has taken this matter with the utmost care and tremendous efforts are in place to protect the people.
With the new coronavirus, now considered a global pandemic, Qatar is taking all precautions and is planning for any emergency. The country has restricted the movement of population, imposed an inwards travel ban, canceled public events, banned social gatherings, closed schools and has even locked down the Industrial area in an attempt to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Let’s find out more about Industrial Area and how Qatar is dealing with the current situation amid coronavirus breakout.
Extending over an area of 32.1 sq.km, Industrial Area in Doha brings together many businesses, service centers, warehouses, and small shops. It’s not only home to a large number of labor camps but also other housing units. The majority of the area’s workers reside in the adjacent Labour City.
On March 11, authorities said 238 people under quarantine in a residential compound tested positive for the disease. Subsequent announcements have linked most reported cases to migrant workers without mentioning nationalities.
“The majority of (coronavirus) cases in Qatar to date have been located in the Industrial Area,” the Government Communication Office (GCO) said earlier in a statement in response to a Reuters’ query.
On March 17, H.E. Lolwah Al Khater mentioned that the closing of the parts of Industrial Zone was done after discovering a number of cases there, which are subject to quarantine, and this decision came to the safety of the residents of the region by continuous medical examination procedures, and to prevent other areas from further spread of the virus, according to QNA.
Since then authorities restricted residents in Industrial Area from leaving for an initial two-week period and prohibited any entry of civilians for work or general entry. The areas affected are from Street 1 to Street 32.
Ministry of Public Health has established three mobile units for testing in the closed part of the industrial area. In addition to that, six patrol ambulances roam around the area for random examination, in order to ensure that they are free of the virus (Covid-19). H.E. Lolwah Al Khater mentioned that Qatar is keen to provide the highest levels of medical services for all without exception and free of charge.
The movement of food and medical supplies for residents of the industrial zone continues in coordination with the relevant authorities, where approximately 1,000 vehicles enter daily to transport essential materials while ensuring all necessary health precautions.
"Food, water, masks and hand sanitizers are being regularly distributed. In coordination with companies, the Ministries [of Labour and Public Health] are ensuring that workers' daily needs are met and salaries paid on schedule," the GCO said.
As a further measure, the road starting from the north side of street No. (1) to the south side of the street No. (32) in the old industrial area main road to the west side of the water tank road was closed from Tuesday (March 17, 2020) for two weeks. This period could be extended.
As the majority of Qatar's cases have been located in the Industrial Area, the area is under complete lockdown to check the outbreak. However, in the quarantined area, individuals are being seen by doctors and medical personnel, with regular testing and monitoring for all individuals, Qatar's Government Communications Office (GCO) said in a statement to Al Jazeera.
Qatar is also building a dedicated quarantine building. The newly Umm Slal quarantine compound is composed of 32 buildings with capacity for 18,000 beds and will be available once the compound is fully equipped in the next few weeks. The compound currently contains 4,000 beds and will reach 8,000 beds in the next week. It has been fully equipped to ensure comfort, safety and entertainment needs in addition to the necessary health services for quarantined people.
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Umm Slal quarantine compound is composed of 32 buildings with capacity for 18,000 beds and will be available once the compound is fully equipped in the next few weeks. . The compound currently contains 4,000 beds and will reach 8,000 beds in the next week. It has been fully equipped to ensure comfort, safety and entertainment needs in addition to the necessary health services for quarantined people. . Video credits to: @nadeebqa . For more information, visit iloveqatar.net! . #QatarQuarantine #QatarUnited #YourSafetyIsMySafety #Doha #Qatar #DohaQatar #QatarCoronavirus #Coronavirus #Covid19 #ILoveQatar #ILQ #ILQLive
A post shared by ILoveQatar.net official IG (@ilqlive) on Mar 26, 2020 at 3:32am PDT
Also remember whoever violates the conditions of quarantine will expose himself to the penalties in line with the provisions of Article 253 of the Penal Code No. (11) of 2004, and the provisions of Law No. (17) of 1990 regarding prevention of infectious diseases, and Law No. (17) of 2002 on Protection of Community.
The Qatari government will not let anyone suffer out of hunger during this lockdown period. In line with this, Qatar Charity is distributing free food to the workers in the Industrial Area.
Thanks to Qatar Charity and the Government of Qatar for providing food items for the expatriate workers quarantined in the Industrial Area. The Indian Embassy and the Indian community will extend all support to help our workers get through this difficult time. @ICBF_Qatar pic.twitter.com/rob6lHKcrD— India in Qatar (@IndEmbDoha) March 20, 2020
All workers in isolation, quarantine or receiving treatment will still be paid their basic salary and receive their allowances irrespective of whether they are entitled to sick leave benefits.
In addition to that, basic wage and other allowances such as food and accommodation, utilities like electricity and water, internet access are provided free of charge. Read more here Coronavirus: Ministry issues health and employment guidelines for workers.
Qatar Charity has cooperated with the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labor and Social Affairs in implementing an awareness campaign for workers to urge them to comply with the precautionary measures against the coronavirus, as it has contributed by distributing a number of educational publications and videos to workers in several languages such as Urdu, Hindi, Tagalog, and Sri Lankan. Personal hygiene, preventive and nutritional requirements and awareness leaflets were distributed to more workers to preserve worker health and prevent the spread of the virus.
In addition to that, Qatari Red Crescent is also distributing hygiene kits to workers in different areas of the country, in order to enhance the provision of health protection.
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