The number of fatalities continues to increase as the country battles the possibility of a second Covid-19 wave.
Three people became the latest victims of the novel coronavirus in Qatar in just one day, the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) said, as authorities announced more restrictions to flatten the curve.
The unidentified individuals, aged 43, 66, and 79, were all receiving the necessary medical care before their passing, the ministry announced. It is still unclear whether the patients had a history of chronic illnesses or were healthy prior to contact with the virus.
Last week, seven people died after contracting Covid-19 and the current weekly death toll stands also stands at seven. Earlier this month, a 26-year-old died from the novel virus just days after a 33-year-old met the same fate.
Since the start of 2021, the country has seen an increase of over 13% in the number of reported deaths. The number of reported deaths on January 1st was 245 since the start of the pandemic. In less than three months, the number jumped to 278.
In a press conference on Wednesday, health officials attributed the increase in the number of cases to a more lax attitude by the general public as well as the presence of the new UK strain.
More infections among family members have also been recorded.
“We were able to contain the infection rate in February, but the cases recently began increasing and we are now seeing a second wave,” the Head of Infectious Diseases Division at Hamad MEdical Corporation Dr. Abdullatif Al Khal confirmed.
Meanwhile, the number of daily reported cases continue to climb. On Wednesday, the health ministry reported 570 new confirmed cases of Covid-19, of which 494 were community cases and 76 from travellers returning from abroad.
Following the daily increase, most of which local, Qatar’s Cabinet imposed further restrictions to curb the spread of the virus on Wednesday.
The restrictions, effective from Friday, March 26th, include allowing only a maximum of five people to gather in open spaces.
Indoor gatherings are now banned, as are both indoor and outdoors weddings. Playgrounds at public parks will also close and gatherings at beaches and winter camps are restricted to family members of the same household.
Gyms and sports clubs, massage and jacuzzi services, saunas, steam rooms and Moroccan and Turkish baths will also be closed until further notice, the ministry announced.
Children under the age of 12 are also banned from entering shopping centres.