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Saturday, January 22, 2022

‘A Covid-free event:’ Qatar to provide vaccine to all 2022 World Cup visitors


Qatar has started talks to ensure that all visitors arriving to Qatar for the World Cup will receive the Covid-19 vaccine. 

Qatar’s foreign minister confirmed authorities are in in discussions with vaccination providers to ensure that all fans attending the 2022 World Cup are protected against the virus.

“We have been negotiating and talking to the vaccination providers on how we can make sure that everyone attending the World Cup is vaccinated,” said Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

Qatar’s FM also added that there are programmes currently under development to provide vaccination to all visitor of the tournament.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has expressed his confidence that the FIFA World Cup 2022 will witness stadiums full of football-loving spectators.

“I am very, very confident [the event] will be incredible, will have the same magic, uniting the world…we will be back to where we have to be,” the sports official told a virtual meeting in Geneva.

He also added that measures to contain the coronavirus will need to be taken during the 2022 tournament.

Infantino has previously suggested that FIFA could “concretely” help travelling fans from countries with patchy vaccine rollouts to safely attend the tournament.

Read also: Full stadiums expected at Qatar 2022: FIFA chief

Meanwhile, Doha has also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring that the Covid-19 vaccination is fairly supplied and produced all over the world.

During the United Nations Economic and Social Council session “A Vaccine for All,” Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations Sheikha Alya Ahmed bin Saif Al Thani highlighted that Qatar is ranked ninth globally for the rate of Covid-19 vaccine doses administered per person, according to recent statistics.

The Gulf state’s national inoculation drive is inclusive for all eligible person in Qatar, whether citizen or resident and provided free of charge.

She added that Qatar has allocated $20 million to the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation. This is in addition to Qatar Fund for Development and the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) first ever core contribution agreement for $10 million to support the Thirteenth General Programme of Work (GPW13).

As of now, more than 1,225,110 vaccine doses have been administered as part of the nationwide inoculation drive.

Currently, Qatar has 22,124 active Covid-19 cases and has recorded 376 deaths since the pandemic started last year. Though it is now grappling with a second coronavirus wave, the country boasts one of the world’s lowest mortality rates.

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