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Saturday, September 18, 2021

Outrage over Qatar’s new quarantine requirements for six Asian countries

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Vaccinated travellers from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines must hotel quarantine for two days upon arrival to Qatar. 

The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced the reimposing of quarantine rules for travellers coming from six Asian countries.

As per the new rules, fully Covid-19 vaccinated travellers (who have received their vaccination in Qatar) from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines coming to the Gulf state must now quarantine for two days at a hotel until a negative PCR swab tests sees them fit to leave the facility on the second day.

All other travellers from these countries are subject to a hotel quarantine of 10 days upon arriving to Qatar.

The decision, which comes into effect on Monday 2 August, has sparked anger among the public, who see the new rules as unfair to vaccinate travellers from these countries.

Many took to social media to express their anger at the decision.

One Twitter user wrote “this is so unfair with those who are fully vaccinated. Seems like it has become a medium to earn more and more money by harassing Indians like that!! Being vaccinated and quarantining for 10 days – Does this makes any sense?”

Read also: Qatar’s daily Covid-19 cases cross 200 for first time in weeks

Another tweet read “@WHO what is the benefit of vaccine if all the countries are not accept the own vaccine. One vaccine taken from Qatar, 2 days quarantine and same vaccine take from Pakistan, 10 days quarantine. What is this behaviour,” tagging the World Health Organisation.

Following the news, Discover Qatar announced it is now accepting bookings for the two-day mandatory hotel quarantine for travellers coming to Qatar from the six Asian countries.

However, many in Qatar are complaining that even booking a two-day quarantine will rack up extra costs for travellers from these countries.

“I don’t understand what’s the point of 2 days quarantine!!! And the starting price of hotel is 900 QAR. This is totally unfair. These rules make life more difficult,” said one comment on Instagram.

Another instagram comment read that this was a “trap to make money.”

This isn’t the first time that stricter requirements have been imposed for the six countries.

In April, the MoPH announced travel restrictions on those coming back to Doha from India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, saying that those returning from these six countries were required to quarantine in a dedicated facility, even if vaccinated.

The new requirements come as concerns of the Delta Covid-19 variant are on the rise, with the new variant running rampant in South East Asia. The Delta variant, which was first found in India, has been detected in more than 90 countries.

India has been reported over 40,000 Covid-19 cases daily. On 28 July, Bangladesh recorded over 16,000 cases. Similarly, other nations, such as Nepal, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and the Philippines have been recording thousands of daily Covid-19 infections.

Meanwhile, Qatar has managed to contain a second wave of the novel coronavirus and is now in Phase 3 of a four-phase plan to lift restrictions in the Gulf state.

There are currently 1,906 active cases in Qatar, according to MoPH figures.


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