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Friday, July 30, 2021

Is Qatar on the brink of a second COVID wave?

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Authorities have downplayed the possibility of a second COVID-19 wave hitting Qatar, however an increase in positive cases over the past few weeks is raising concerns.

In an opening address to the Qatar Health 2021 Virtual Conference, the Minister of Public Health HE Dr Hanan Mohamed Al Kuwari declared that Qatar has avoided a second wave of the COVID-19 virus.

“We are completely safe from the threat of the second wave,” Dr. Al Kuwari said.

The country has succeeded in maintaining a low coronavirus fatality rate of 0.14%, one of the lowest in the world, with only 248 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

However, concerns of a second wave are on the rise as statistics indicate that Qatar’s infection numbers are slowly increasing.

Read also: 70% of population must receive COVID-19 vaccine to protect community: expert

On January 23, the Ministry of Public Health announced 251 new cases, 32 of which were from travellers coming into the country. Exactly four weeks ago the daily infection rate was 129, while at the end of the first week of December Qatar had recorded one of its lowest numbers of 117.

Qatar ended the year with 2,167 active covid cases, but now, less than a month into 2021 that number has increased drastically to 3,784, a huge 74.6% increase.

According to Qatar’s Open Data Portal, the number of daily cases has been increasing steadily since December of last year. Ironically this has coincided with the arrival of the much anticipated coronavirus vaccines.

However the slow pace at which authorities have been administering the vaccinations is something that has frustrated many and appears to be playing a role in the rising numbers.

That being said, according to statistics, Qatar is dealing with the pandemic more effectively than neighbouring countries, with a lower daily infection rate and much lower fatalities. Authorities continue to urge citizens and residents to adhere to safety precautions and hundreds of people have been fined for not abiding by regulations like waring a mask or breaching quarantine rules.

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