The Cabinet fell short of imposing further restrictions during a meeting on Wednesday.
Qatar’s Cabinet announced all non-urgent medical services at private health facilities will no longer operate as normal from Friday, as part of measures to stem the spread of Covid-19.
Private health centres can still provide some of their services through “modern means of communications,” the Cabinet decision, made during a ministerial meeting on Wednesday, clarified.
Restrictions imposed last week, which involved the closure of places where public gathering is more common, including gyms, and fully halting weddings, will continue.
“In the past few weeks, the number of Covid-19 cases has risen continuously, leading to significant numbers of people being admitted to hospital and intensive care every day with severe symptoms,” the health ministry said in a statement.
Qatar has also witnessed an increase in infections among children below the age of 14, a Hamad Medical Corporation [HMC] official revealed on Monday, suggesting a full lockdown could be considered to curb the spread of the virus.
“We did not witness such numbers at the peak of the first wave,” Dr. Ahmed Mohammed, Acting Chairman of HMC’s Intensive Care Units said, adding that the intensity of the second wave could soon see yet more precautionary measures imposed if required, including a full lockdown for a period of two to three weeks.
The Gulf state has also been speeding its vaccination campaign as it aims to inoculate 90% of its population by the end of this year.
So far, Qatar has administered a total of 816,484 vaccines and has recently increased its weekly rate by more than 200%. Currently, figures show 1 of 5 adults in the country have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
According to Our World In Data, Qatar has vaccinated 26.5 people per 100 – the third highest in the GCC. The highest is the United Arab Emirates with 82.2 while Oman holds the lowest number with 2.7 per 100.
On Wednesday, Qatar reported 780 new COVID-19 infections, two deaths, 51 ICU admissions and 239 were hospitalised.