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Friday, September 24, 2021

Slight hike in Covid-19 cases linked to Eid Al Fitr gatherings

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Qatar recently witnessed a slight hike in coronavirus infections due to Eid Al Fitr celebrations, a Hamad Medical Corporation official said on TV. 

An increase in Covid-19 cases have been recorded by health authorities in recent days, Medical Director of Hamad General Hospital Dr. Yousef Al Maslamani said in an interview on Al Rayyan TV, attributing the numbers to gatherings during Eid Al Fitr.

However, the rise in cases is expected to be temporary phase that will last a few more days before then decreasing once more, Dr. Al Maslamani noted. 

Though the rate of infection is no cause for alarm, it has raised concerns over whether the decision to lift restrictions on May 28 will go ahead.

In the Tuesday interview, Dr. Al Maslamani said restrictions will only be lifted on the scheduled date only if the cases decline once more.

“The adherence to Covid-19 measures should continue so we can start phase 1 of the gradual lifting of restrictions from May 28, as per the schedule,” he added.

“The gradual lifting of Covid-19 restrictions depends on the compliance of the majority of the population with preventive measures. This will reduce the infection rate.”

On May 9, the government introduced a four-phase plan for the gradual lifting of restrictions that were imposed after an alarming spike in cases. Each phase is expected to last for three weeks. 

The first phase will begin on May 28, while the second, third, and fourth phases will start on June 18, July 9, and July 30 respectively.

Read also: Qatar’s SSC discharges last Covid-19 patients as Qatar numbers drop

According to the earlier announcement, the dates can be altered depending on the daily infections over periodic evaluations and people’s compliance with preventive measures.

Among the main reopening steps include blended learning in schools with 30% capacity from May 28. Nurseries and childcare centres will reopen at a maximum capacity of 30% in phase 1, while in phase 3, children will be allowed in shopping malls. 

Beaches will be also opened with a capacity of 30% in phase 1. Additionally, Barber Shops and hairdressers will be allowed to reopen with a maximum capacity of 30%, and for vaccinated clients.

In phase 2, the capacity of employees at workplaces will be increased to 80%.  In phase 3, play areas and exercise equipment will be opened for the public.  

On Tuesday, the Covid-19 report showed an increase in daily positive cases, going from 522 on Eid day May 13th to 536.


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